Eastbourne Archaeology Dig

Heritage Eastbourne Archaeology




For two weeks 17th - 30th July, Heritage Eastbourne are returning to Butts Brow to uncover the stories of Eastbourne's Neolithic Ancestors

This year, we return to excavate more of the potentially nationally significant prehistoric enclosure. Discover the latest dig news in daily guided tours of the site at 11.30am and 2.30pm

On the 19th, 22nd and 26th July, visitors can find out how the flint tools found on site were made 1000s of years ago and have a go at ancient weaving and make prehistoric pottery on the top of the hill used by Eastbourne's Neolithic ancestors.
East Sussex County Council archaeologist Greg Chuter will be leading a free guided walk on 23rd July at 2.30pm from Butts Brow to Combe Hill, exploring the archaeology of the area and understanding the bigger picture around the excavation. To book, email localhistory@eastbourne.gov.uk or call 07415 208458. You can also monitor the dig via the daily site diary updated each evening on the Heritage Eastbourne Faceboook page.

In 2016, we started investigating an intriguing earthwork that appears to surround the hilltop above the Butts Brow car park near Willingdon. A ditch was found to run around the hilltop with an associated bank made up of chalk, dug out of the ditch, but whether this barrier was complete or broken by openings is still unclear. At this stage we believe that this was most likely created in the distant Neolithic era, around 5,000-6,000 years ago, when our ancestors were slowly starting to adopt a more settled lifestyle, beginning to farm and also clearing the Downs of trees. It wouldn’t appear that this enclosure was defensive or that it contained settlement (the lack of many finds from daily life would support the latter) but perhaps it was built for more esoteric reasons. The Neolithic was an era of monument building with the first major flourishing of organised, large scale ritualistic and religious behaviour. It is very possible that what we have at Butts Brow is connected in some way to the nearby Neolithic Causewayed Enclosure at Combe Hill....time will tell.


Ocklynge Survey

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Find out more about the search for Eastbourne's Roman Villa at the Carpet Gardens in 2016 here. Look out for updates on this search and our other excavations here and on facebook and twitter

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