3rd April 2012: Test Trench at Fowlmere RSPB Reserve

After a preliminary visit in September 2011, archaeologist and mentor Sylvia Beamon and I revisited Fowlmere RSPB Nature Reserve to continue our investigation into the Mesolithic evidence that was first uncovered during an excavation in 1993. This area was toward the end of the reserve at a ridge known as “Black Peak”, thought by many to be part of the original ancient Icknield Way track (as marked on the 1836 O.S map Sheet LI).

Along with Romano-British and Iron Age evidence there were scatters of lithics indicating the presence of a Mesolithic Camp which were documented after the excavation but not fully investigated. During our first visit in September we found four blades and flakes on a spoil heap from one of the watercress beds which were dug over 100 years ago meaning any artefacts would not have been removed.

After a brief surface search of the area between Black Peak and where we found the first blades; it became clear there was no Mesolithic presence between the two locations, suggesting they were two separate sites. This was further confirmed by more blades and flakes (seen below) that were recovered after excavation of the watercress spoil heap (with permission granted from the RSPB).

Only a small area was excavated (1m x 1.5m - image right) which shows further evidence of a new separate site, that could still be waiting to be uncovered in a future excavation.

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