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Bertha pulls plug on excavation open day near Barcombe Mills

David Millum leading a site tour of the Lewes and Brighton Archaeological Societies.

David Millum leading a site tour of the Lewes and Brighton Archaeological Societies.

With uncertainty over the path of former hurricane Bertha it was decided to cancel Sunday’s Open Day at the excavation site at the Romano-British settlement at Bridge Farm, near Barcombe Mills.

Organisers said an early morning inspection showed that weather conditions had made access to the site dangerous.

Cancellation notices were posted on the project’s website and in key local spots.

Culver Archaeological Project hoped not too many people braved the weather and were disappointed.

The Open Day was set for the last day of the dig as the previous weekend had been busy with four local history and archaeological groups visiting, including Ringmer and Lewes.

The site, being on a busy working farm, is not open to the public and will now be backfilled and returned to grassland for preservation but three information boards giving details of CAP’s nearby 2013 discoveries are due to be unveiled during the autumn in the Barcombe Mills car park.

Rob Wallace and David Millum, directors of the dig, are due to speak at several local venues during the winter and articles on the results of the excavations will be posted on the website (www.culverproject.co.uk) and issued to the Sussex Express and Sussex Past and Present.

They thanked the 60 plus volunteers, most local but some from Canterbury University and one from India, who supported the dig.

David Millum leading a site tour of the Lewes and Brighton Archaeological Societies.

Site volunteers (site directors at the back) standing in location of the 13 large postholes.

The 45cm long carved timber from below the post base.

The excavation revealed the remains of the bases of 13 large upright timbers, of an 18m by 6m building, still surviving in the water-logged conditions after nearly 2000 years. These were uncovered and recorded but left in situ as the best method of preservation, with only one partial postbase removed for further analysis and potential dating. The star find was a carved timber fragment 45 x 20 x 15cm lying under the base of a post. This could have been a pad to support the new post or have symbolic implications with the use of timber from a previous building on the site. The team are trying to find comparable timbers and usage from other sites to help interpretation.

 

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