If you go down to the cliffs again…

Archaeology National Trust SW

Golden Cap in the distance and the cliff at Seatown in the foreground Golden Cap in the distance and the cliff at Seatown in the foreground

Three more sleeps until we are back excavating next to the cliff edge in West Dorset. A mysterious mound of burnt material was spotted eroding from the cliff face by local archaeologist Antony who drew our attention to it. It is buried about 1m down and therefore was not visible on the surface.

This kind of feature is called a ‘burnt mound’ and are more commonly found in the Midland of England and in Scotland. There are sites in Hampshire, Wiltshire and North Dorset, but this is the first found in West Dorset. Burnt mounds can date from the Neolithic right up to the Iron age, with many Bronze age in date.

We don’t know if this burnt mound was something used for ritual feasting, a sweat lodge or an industrial site but hopefully over the next two weeks we…

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