A new exhibition at Bexhill Museum is showcasing the fruits of an archaeological dig being carried out as part of the Bexhill Hastings Link Road development.
The display shows the archaeologist’s work in progress, where they are digging and what they have found so far.
And it includes a selection of finds from just after the last Ice Age up to the Saxon period. According to experts in the field, a very large gap in local history promises to be filled by the finding.
Archaeologist Casper Johnson told the Observer: “The Bexhill Hastings Link Road is providing an opportunity to significantly increase our understanding of the archaeology and history of this part of East Sussex in an area which has seen relatively little large scale archaeological work and where there are significant gaps in our understanding.
“Oxford Archaeology [the group behind the dig] began the main programme of excavations in April 2013 and has recorded evidence of human occupation from the Upper Palaeolithic through to the present day.
More than 70 flint scatters, some associated with possible structures, pits and hearths have so far been excavated, while the development of the landscape in later prehistory can be charted through the construction of a ring ditch, field boundaries and ditched trackways.
“A number of iron working sites of Late Iron Age to Roman date are being investigated with one terraced into a hillside and comprising well-preserved furnaces with ore-roasting pits, charcoal dumps and extensive slag heaps immediately adjacent to a possibly contemporary ditched enclosure of Roman date on the hill top above. This particular site was then occupied in the Early Medieval period and continues in use with the present day farmstead lying just to the south; an illustration of how the Link Road is providing us with an opportunity to understand change at a landscape scale.”
Bexhill Museum is open daily, Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm and weekends and Mondays 11am to 5pm.
And current museum curator Julian Porter is hopeful as many locals as possible pop along to see the new exhibition.
He said: “This is an exciting first look at some of the remarkable finds that Oxford Archaeology have excavated from the site where the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road is being built.
“Previously we have had only a few clues about Bexhill’s prehistoric archaeology, just a rather random collection of surface finds that had been gathered over many years without context.
The interpretation of our ancient ancestor’s lives was inferred from excavations elsewhere, we are now beginning to understand our own unique story for the first time.”