A FORMER Bronze Age settlement in Eastbourne has been officially declared a scheduled monument by English Heritage.
The 3,000-year-old site at Shinewater is considered by experts to be among the best preserved Bronze Age wetland landscapes on the south coast.
In agreeing to schedule the site as an ancient monument, English Heritage concluded the area was of “undisputed national importance as a rare site type with considerable archaeological potential”.
The scheduling was approved by the Minister for Tourism and Heritage.
The application was made by the county council archaeologist and supported by Eastbourne Borough Council.
Cllr Steve Wallis, portfolio holder for the environment, said, “Everyone is absolutely thrilled such an important archaeological site, right here on Eastbourne’s doorstep, has been officially recognised as a scheduled ancient monument.”
While the site is largely unexcavated, a large and valuable assemblage of organic and inorganic cultural artefacts was discovered in 1995 during construction of flood alleviation ponds.
The excavation that followed the initial discovery opened up a 50m section of the platform and in 1996, a 60m length of trackway.
A superbly preserved complete bronze sickle with a wooden handle is on permanent display at the British Museum in London.
The site was occupied approximately 3,000 years ago and remains at the site indicate contacts by sea with the continent.
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