Beehive Plantation Dig Joe Seaman supervises volunteers BEEHIVE PLANTATION Butts Brow Eastbourne
AFTER THE FINDS - Back to 21stcentury - it's not just a dig!


Far left: Vounteers move the trench down to the late Neolithic
Left: Volunteers returning the dig to the 21st century assisted by Jo Seaman of Heritage Eastbourne (with wheel barrow).
At Butts Brow enthusiastic volunteers eagerly but carefully move the trench down through the Bronze Age and into the late Neolithic. Mysteries are enticing and need solving and the answers may lie somewhere below our everyday surface.

Down a metre the excavation reveals broken Bronze Age pot fragments. Was this the remains of an offering to a worshipped deity or the container for cool local spring water to rehydrate the Neolithic trench diggers? Parallels exist as cool spring water now comes from the plastic bottle which is now sadly, only offered to the recycle bin, and the friendly descendants of Neolithic wolves, now out with their walkers happily bound into the trench to check the disturbance to their territory. But the mysteries continue and the answers may be somewhere down there.
Clay ovens may have been the talk of the late Neolithic village community. With their new pastoral lifestyle and the prevalance of pigs a roast pork slice cut with a polished flint knife may have been the sustaining breakfast of the Neolithic trench diggers. The very basic start of the now well established full English breakfast.
So on the way down imaginations tend to wander.

But down is not the only direction for archaeological sites in sensitive ecological areas. After the descent and the finds the mind wandering ceases, the calorie burning work of bringing the trench back up to 21st century is required. Tamped chalk rubble layers slowly make their way back to the present, the topsoil is returned and finally the turf, (kept moist from bowser supplies) is replaced and the fences removed. Without the mystery the trench, sadly, is just another hole in the ground.
It's my opinion and it may be yours, that going down is much more fun than coming back!
Chris Ward volunteer
11:34 11th Aug 2016
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