The exceptional results of OA’s excavation along the A2, near Gravesend in Kent, have just been published. A Road Through the Past: Archaeological discoveries on the A2 Pepperhill to Cobham road-scheme in Kent, by Tim Allen, Mike Donnelly, Alan Hardy, Chris Hayden and Kelly Powell, reveals the story of nearly 6000 years of human activity, from a massive marker post erected by early Neolithic farmers to a bizarre burial of several animals dating to the 16th century AD.
Prehistoric discoveries include two enclosures of the middle Iron Age, both associated with some of the earliest cobbled roads ever found, a collection of Iron Age storage pits rich in diverse deliberate offerings, and the emergence of a nucleated hamlet in the middle Iron Age.
Most exciting were rich cremation burials of the late Iron Age and early Roman periods, probably successive generations of a local family, whose rise to prominence between the invasions of Caesar and Claudius coincides with the growth of the cult centre at nearby Springhead.
Medieval settlements of the late 11th-14th centuries mirror the renewed importance of Watling Street after the Norman conquest, and its eventual return to obscurity due to competition from the ferry from London to Gravesend.