Institute of Archaeology

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Whitehawk Camp Community Archaeology Project uncovers hidden secrets

19 June 2014

A reconstruction by Ian Dennis of the Whitehawk causewayed enclosure c. 3,600 cal BC (reproduced from Whittle, Healy and Bayliss 2011; fig. 1.3)

A geophysical survey of Whitehawk Causewayed Enclosure has revealed previously unknown archaeological features.

The work was undertaken by the Centre for Applied Archaeology (CAA) and the Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society (BHAS) as part of the Whitehawk Camp Community Archaeology Project which aims to connect Brighton's communities with the nationally important Whitehawk Causewayed Enclosure, the burial place of Brighton's first residents.

The team used magnetometry to ’map’ magnetic anomalies in the soil, rock and bedrock. The survey was undertaken to find out more about the extent and nature of this nationally significant Stone Age site and also, importantly, to help the project team to decide on the location of a community excavation set to take place on the site from 11-29 August 2014.

Ed Start races to the finish line whilst surveying Whitehawk Camp with a Magnetometer (with thanks to Brighton Racecourse for access)

Excitingly, the survey detected several possible archaeological features, which could dramatically extend the size of the monument (currently the size of 8 football pitches) and/or provide further detail as to the lives of the Neolithic or Stone Age people who constructed it.  The archaeological excavation during August will target these potential features and assess whether they relate to the monument.

Meanwhile, work on the archive of archaeological finds from the 1920s and 30s excavations has commenced at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and it is hoped that some more archaeological revelations will be discovered in the archives!

For further information and volunteering opportunities please visit the Whitehawk Camp Community Archaeology Project website or via our social media:

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