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From: Paul Tritton, Hon. Press Officer
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01622 741198
ISSUED NOVEMBER 4 2014
Digging into mysteries of life in prehistoric Kent
The ‘Bridge helmet.’
(Canterbury Archaeological Trust)
The ‘Chilham mirror’ and brooches
(Canterbury Archaeological Trust)
Results of the latest research into exciting discoveries made on Kent’s major prehistoric sites will be discussed at
a public conference in Canterbury next month (December).
Ian Coulson, president of the Kent Archaeological Society, who will chair the event, said: ‘We will enjoy
presentations from seven experts whose knowledge spans 10,000 years of life in the county – from the Stone
Age to the Roman invasions of 55 and 54 BC.
‘This will be the most important conference on prehistoric Kent for many years. If it’s a success we hope it will
become an annual or biennial event’.
‘Digs’ at Mesolithic era (10,000 BC - 4,500 BC) sites at Shorne Woods Country Park, Gravesend and Ranscombe
Farm, Cuxton, will be described by Andrew Mayfield, Kent County Council Community Archaeologist and Dave
May, amateur archaeologist and naturalist.
‘There are currently no ongoing community archaeology excavations of Mesolithic sites in Kent,’ said Andrew.
‘These two new substantial sites are important to our understanding of this period in Kent’s history.
‘We have found more than 3,000 flint artefacts at Shorne Woods. At the Cuxton site, which was discovered by
Dave May, more than 10,000 “struck” flints have been recorded, including axes and adzes’.
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Flint tool (an axe or an adze) 6,000 – 8,000 years old, found at Ranscombe Farm Nature Reserve, Cuxton.
Dr Pat Reid of the Faversham Society Archaeological Research Group will focus on the results of excavations,
‘geo-resistivity’ surveys and metal detecting carried out in attempts to solve the mysteries of the ‘Davington
plateau’ west of Faversham, rumoured for many years to be the site of a Late Iron Age hill fort, a medieval road,
and possibly a small village and manor house.
Dr John Hammond’s chosen subject will be Bronze Age round barrows and ring ditches. He is an alumni research
scholar and lecturer at the University of Kent, and the Canterbury Archaeological Trust’s business manager.
The ‘Bridge helmet’, worn by a Late Iron Age warrior, and the ‘Chilham mirror’ and two brooches that belonged
to a woman of the same period, are two of the most exciting ‘finds’ in Kent.
Keith Parfitt, who is one of the UK’s leading field archaeologists, will relate everything that is known about these
objects.
The helmet was discovered by a metal detectorist at Bridge, near Canterbury. ‘It may have belonged to a Celtic
warrior opposing the advance of Julius Caesar, although archaeologists agree that its exact origins may never be
known,’ said Keith.
‘The helmet is a simple, almost hemispherical design, oval in plan, with a shallow-angled projecting neck-guard
at the rear, and appears to have been beaten from a single sheet of copper alloy.
‘It weighs 539.4g, with a circumference above the neck-guard of 625mm and a length from front to back of
233mm.
‘The mirror was found in a cremation burial in the grounds of Chilham Castle. It’s an elegant copper-alloy mirror,
about 18cm in diameter, dating to 75-25 BC and is composed of a roughly circular plate delicately engraved with
Celtic ornament, and a looped handle’.
Focussing on the brooches from Kent, Dr Sophia Adams will discuss the unique nature of the Iron Age material
culture of the county, through comparison with the rest of Britain.
The conference will conclude with an update by Dr Paul Bennett on the latest sea trials of the Canterbury
Archaeological Trust’s replica of a Bronze Age boat unearthed in Dover in 1992.
The conference will be held at Rutherford College, University of Kent at Canterbury on Saturday, December 13.
For a full programme and booking form visit the Events pages at http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk or contact
Ted Connell on 01474 872763, email [email protected]
more/...
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Note to editor: for JPEGs of the above images email [email protected]
Useful websites for further information
Shorne and Ranscombe Farm, Cuxton, Mesolithic sites
http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/KAS-AUTUMN-2012.pdf
‘Davington mysteries’
http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/newsletter/KAS-WINTER-2011.pdf
Bridge helmet
http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/KAS-WINTER-2012.pdf
Chilham mirror
http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/case_hearings_2008_9/Case_17_experts_website_statement.pdf
Dover Bronze Age boat
http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/KAS-SRPING-2013.pdf
KAS membership details
http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/join-us/
Founded 1857
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www.kentarchaeology.ac
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