Unlocking the Potential: Exploring the archaeology of Suffolk's aggregate landscapes

Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service, 2011

Data copyright © Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service unless otherwise stated

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Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service (2011) Unlocking the Potential: Exploring the archaeology of Suffolk's aggregate landscapes [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1000143

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Photograph of roundhouse

It is widely recognised that Suffolk has rich and varied cultural resources related to its gravel terraces and extractive activities. There have been significant discoveries made in advance of quarrying, such as the multi-period landscapes at West Stow and Lackford Bridge on the river Lark, and the extensive prehistoric and Saxon remains from Coddenham on the Gipping and Flixton on the Waveney.

The ongoing threat to what remains of Suffolk's gravel terraces has encouraged Suffolk County Council's Archaeological Service to bid to English Heritage for grant aid for a number of projects aimed at gaining a fuller understanding of the archaeological resource in the remaining aggregate areas. Through this work it is hoped to improve the delivery of Historic Environment information and inform recommendations and responses to the Minerals Planning process, particularly through the revision of the Minerals Plan and for development control issues.

These projects have included the publication and post excavation analysis of archaeology in the Flixton and Coddenham quarries. The publication of rescue archaeology from the 1960's and 70's, carried in advance of quarrying at Lackford Bridge (4770), near West Stow. A geoarchaeological characterisation study of the Suffolk river valleys, and an analysis of the historic environment resource in likely areas of future extraction.

Whilst these specific projects are important in management terms, there has been little attempt to disseminate the results of this work and the role of archaeology and extractive industries to the public. Unlocking the Potential was therefore designed as an educational outreach initiative to explore the aggregates industry and the archaeology of the landscapes in which it works. Its intention was to work with school and community groups from areas around the county of Suffolk where aggregates extraction has had a major impact upon the landscape.