Saturday, 10 December 2011

Must Farm - Putting Whittlesey on the Map

A month or so ago I was privileged to be invited along with my fellow Whittlesey County Councillor Ralph Butcher to visit the Must Farm archeological dig that is currently taking place.  Before I go into detail about the dig itself, I want to say that we should be grateful to Hanson Brick for their role in this - whilst it is true that they have legal responsibilities to allow archeology, it is also quite clear from what the archeologists were saying to us that they are going above and beyond what is required to support Cambridge Archeological Unit in doing this work.

As a bit of an avid Time Team watcher, I have to say I was a bit like a kid in a sweet shop at this site - obviously helped by the fantastic stuff they have found.  But I would suggest you read some of the links at the end of this post, to read more about that - I am nowhere near expert enough, but I have been aching to blog this ever since my visit. I apologise for not doing so - but we were asked to keep it quiet for a while and I only got the go ahead last week.

Part of the excavation is a series of 6 hollowed out log boats, some of which are so well preserved you can still see the axe marks where they were carved and also areas where repairs have been carried out.   There was also an extremely well preserved wicker eel trap.  The fact that something like that has managed to be preserved over thousands of years says a huge amount about why this site is important - and indeed it is - with the archeologists who were there repeating a number of times that the finds here are of international importance.

There is still alot of work to be done on this site - years worth, and these latest discoveries are certainly not the first.  I had some discussions on the day of our visit about the opportunities for Whittlesey and about how we could do something for our museum and schools - I hope to follow that up shortly, especially as I have had a discussion today with the proprietor of Whittlesey museum.

Nothing more to say - except this is not a site that is suitable to walk to - it is very, very slippy and potentially dangerous, so please, please don't try.  Meanwhile enjoy my photos and a few National and local links to media stories which say a bit more about the site. The "Shape Your Place" link includes a video which has me rambling (and I did!!) about the need to seek benefits for Whittlesey from this.

I would like to also thank Cambridge Archeological Unit for hosting us on our visit.  It was a real privilege to see this.


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