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Department of Archaeology

 

Made in the autumn of 2019 by filmmaker Nick Edwards, this short film “Ouse-side Barrows and Fishing Weirs: Palaeochannel Archaeology at Over/Needingworth” follows the Cambridge Archaeological Unit’s (CAU) excavations in Hanson Aggregates’ Needingworth Quarry. The land is being restored as an RSPB bird reserve, and is somewhere that the CAU has worked for the past 25 years.

With the investigations straddling both banks of the River Great Ouse, and involving a myriad of ancient river channels and mid-stream islands, it is a complex landscape; its palaeo-environmental recording demands as much attention as the archaeology itself.

 

 

The film, now available to view online, includes the excavation of both a Neolithic barrow, dating from c. 3000BC, and a smaller Early Bronze Age barrow (c. 1800 BC) having extraordinary cremation burials. It also documents the excavation of dense ‘raft’ of Middle Bronze Age preserved wood (c. 1500 BC) within a side-channel of the river, amid which are a number of fishing weirs.