Archaeologists conducting road improvement works in southwestern England have unearthed a treasure trove of remains spanning approximately 10,000 years of history. The discoveries, made during upgrades to a section of the A30 road in Cornwall, include artifacts dating back to the Mesolithic period, a Bronze Age burial mound, Roman remnants, and a World War II American D-Day camp.
Unveiling a Multilayered History
The excavation, led by Cornwall Council’s Cornwall Archaeological Unit (CAU) since 2020, has revealed a diverse array of historical sites along nearly 10 miles of land. Among the most significant findings is a Mesolithic tool preparation area, providing insights into the activities of ancient hunter-gatherer communities. The presence of approximately 100,000 flint tools offers a rare glimpse into Mesolithic life, shedding light on tool manufacturing techniques and daily practices.
Delving into the Past
According to Sean Taylor, a senior archaeologist with the CAU, the excavation has yielded remarkable discoveries, including small slate beads adorned with resin and various shaped stone tools. These findings, along with pits and postholes, provide valuable clues about ancient activities and enable researchers to reconstruct past events with greater accuracy.
Tracing Historical Roads
In addition to ancient artifacts, sections of old roads have been uncovered, hinting at centuries-old transportation routes. One such road near Marazanvose likely dates back to the Roman period, underscoring the region's rich historical tapestry.
Among the poignant discoveries is a United States Army base used during World War II, serving as a reminder of the sacrifices made during the liberation of Europe. As the 80th anniversary of D-Day approaches, documenting these remains takes on added significance, honoring the memory of those who served and highlighting their enduring legacy.
Reflecting on the Finds
Councillor Martyn Alvey lauds the archaeological team's efforts, emphasizing the insights gained into past civilizations. The discoveries offer a compelling narrative of human history, spanning millennia and enriching our understanding of life in southwest England.
The CAU welcomes input from individuals with memories or connections to the discovered sites, fostering collaboration and enriching the historical record. For inquiries or contributions, contact the Cornwall Archaeological Unit.
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