Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Historic Environment Record Enhancement

1930s photograph of excavations by Nina Laynard

The team in the Historic Environment Record (HER) are working on a project, funded by Historic England, to enhance the database with Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites and find spots across Suffolk.

Suffolk is one of the most important counties in England for Early Prehistoric archaeological remains (Palaeolithic and Mesolithic, 1 million years ago – 4000BC). This is not just in terms of numbers of finds/sites (c. 1660 known) but also because it is home to some of the most important sites in Europe, such as Pakefield and Beeches Pit. Suffolk also has significant post-glacial “Long Blade” sites, such as Devils Wood Pit, and has a wealth of Mesolithic material.

The HER database records for this period are incomplete and do not follow current dating and finds identification paradigms. The information from well-known published gazetteers of sites and finds will also be added.

Enhancing the HER with the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites is important to ensure the archaeology is consistently and appropriately understood. This project is a systematic enhancement exercise to improve the Suffolk Historic Environment Record using nationally accepted methodologies. This will serve as a basis for early engagement in the planning process and will facilitate informed management decisions. The dataset will be accompanied by publicly available resources to promote the results and the heritage assets.

Find out more about The People Behind our Understanding of Suffolk’s Prehistoric Archaeology.

Listen to this podcast to find out more about the project and the Early Prehistoric history of Ipswich, broadcast by Caleb Howgego and featuring Dr Hannah Cutler (Archaeological Officer, Suffolk County Council).

Featured Image: Nina Layard at Foxhall Road, Ipswich, c.1903-1905, © Suffolk Records Office S2/3/1.1

This project is funded by Historic England.

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