One of our largest and most significant recent projects is the excavation along the route of the Bexhill to Hastings link road for Hochtief Vinci JV, which has involved archaeologists from across OA, assisted by members of the Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group. The fieldwork took place from 2013-14.

Multiple teams have uncovered evidence of national importance, including over 100 flint scatters and an extensive Roman-period bloomery. Many of the flint scatters belong to the late Mesolithic, but the earliest is Late Upper Palaeolithic, while at least two scatters are of Neolithic date and associated with pottery. One scatter is very dense and includes quite poorly made flints, and contains the lowest quality raw material we have found across the scheme. The current view is that the flints represent a place where the young learnt to knap flint.

But the prehistoric evidence is not confined to flint scatters. Burnt mounds have been uncovered too. Excavation of one of them revealed a surface below the mound, fired clay objects, and worked timbers that may have formed a fence enclosing the central area of the mound and its two central pits.

Excavations on the Roman bloomery have revealed furnaces, a large slag heap, ore-roasting platforms, and evidence for structures. Two of the furnaces appear to be unique within the Weald and possibly in Britain.


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