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Archaeology of the Lower Ouse Valley

Quarry sites begin to give up secrets - Cat Bell, The Hunts Post

A major awareness campaign, aimed at highlighting the vast wealth of archaeology found in quarry workings in the Lower Ouse Valley is launched this week.

Leading the initiative is Cambridge Archaeological Unit and building materials company Hanson Aggregates, backed with a £50,000 grant by English Heritage from the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund. It is based principally on investigations at Hanson sites at Needingworth, Earith and Whittlesey.

Focal point of the launch will be the start of restoration work of a Bronze Age ring ditch, dating back to 1200BC. It is sited near a cluster of five Neolithic or early Bronze Age burial barrows, known as the Over Monument Group, regarded by English Heritage as one of the most important sites in the Fens.

Chris Evans of Cambridge Archaeological Unit, said: "The site is designated as an ancient moment and is of huge significance. We propose to subtly re-instate the earthwork. This will involve scooping out its profile to a depth of just over a metre, creating a bank-like effect about four metres wide around the enclosure."

Brian Chapman, Hanson's Anglia unit manager, added: "Quarrying and archaeological investigations have made a major contribution to our understanding of early life in the Fens. It is vital we share this information with the local people."

The campaign has five key components:

A website based on information gathered from Hanson's sites at Needingworth, Earith and Whittlesey;

Schools material, relevant to Key Stage 2 and available through Hanson's own education initiative - Material World and its website.

Handling collections for schools and quarry visits based on local finds and dovetailing with the schools' material. The collections will relate to Roman and earlier Prehistoric finds.

Two exhibitions will be available for use in libraries and schools. One will exclusively concern the 'Romans at Earith' and the other will largely focus on results from Hanson's flagship quarry at Needingworth.

The restoration of the ring ditch at the Over barrow cemetery and the erection of information boards.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd March 2004ce
Edited 15th February 2006ce

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