Searching for lost lands

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Next weekend will see the return to Pett Level of a team of archaeologists who will be continuing a survey of the submerged Mesolithic forest and peat layer. The survey is part of the national community-involvement CITiZAN project, which is studying the surprisingly rich Stone Age archaeology in the coastal and intertidal zones around Britain before these areas are lost forever to the sea.

The CITiZAN team will be on Pett Level foreshore at low tide on Friday, Saturday and Sunday over the Bank Holiday weekend and all are welcome to join or just come and watch.

On Friday, the visit will start with a guided tour of the submerged forest by Dr Scott Timpany, who conducted the first part of the survey last year.

The tour will set off from the Pett Level car park at 4:15pm and should be back by 6:20pm. The tour will go ahead come rain or shine, as will the other sessions. Bring wellies. It would also be a good idea to share a car or get a lift, as Pett Level car park does not have many spaces.

On Saturday, there will be a workshop at the New Hall in Winchelsea from 10:30am to about 1:45pm, hosted by the Winchelsea Archaeological Society. Dr Timpany will talk in more detail and provide illustrations about the results of the Pett Level survey, in particular what was discovered from the sampling of wood and peat.

He will also be giving an introduction to surveying and recording techniques for volunteers. And there’ll be a look at the work of the CITiZAN project around the country as well as other non-commercial archaeology in the district. The team will then return to the Pett Level foreshore for 3:00pm and will work until about 7:00pm but, between sessions, volunteers are invited to stay in Winchelsea and chat with the team until they leave for Pett Level (why not bring a packed lunch and picnic to Winchelsea, tea and coffee will be provided).

There will be a final session of recording and sampling at Pett Level on Sunday, from about 3:00pm to 7:00pm.

Volunteers are welcome to come along to any of the sessions. There is no requirement to come to all. All you will need is enthusiasm and wellies. If you want a lift to and from Hastings each day, contact CITiZAN at lband@mola.org.uk. Volunteers and anyone else who is interested are urged to sign up to the CITiZAN newsletter.

photo: RCHMW