Archaeological investigations carried out in Combe Haven, East Sussex, prior to the construction of the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road revealed evidence for activity extending from the end of the Palaeolithic period to the Anglo-Saxon period. The highlights include numerous in situ Mesolithic flint scatters, dating throughout that period, a series of early and middle Bronze Age burnt mounds, a well-preserved Roman iron production site, and an Anglo-Saxon agricultural site. The evidence from the excavated sites is complemented by geoarchaeological and environmental investigations which chart the development of Combe Haven.

  • Mesolithic (10,000 - 4,000 BC)

    Flint scatters

    More than 240 Mesolithic knapping sites were excavated with a complex sequence of well dated microlith assemblages that have allowed for a much more detailed understanding of how technology changed during this key period.

    Flint scatter
  • Bronze Age (2,600 - 700 BC)

    Burnt mounds

    Many burnt mounds were excavated spanning the Bronze Age. These showed a great deal of variety in form and included the discovery of England's earliest recorded human fleas.

    Archaeological sections through the remains of a burnt mound
  • Roman (43 - 410 AD)

    Iron bloomery

    Iron was produced at the site on a large scale between the mid-1st and mid-3rd centuries AD. Archaeologists uncovered ore-roasting pits, furnaces, smithies, and a slag heap measuring some 2m thick and 45m wide. 

    Photo of an excavated Roman iron smelting furnace
  • Anglo-Saxon (410 - 1066 AD)

    Anglo-Saxon settlement

    Traces of an Anglo-Saxon settlement, spanning the 7th to 10th centuries AD, were revealed. A barn or hall and curious structures that may be corn-drying ovens or a form of sunken-feature building were among the excavated remains.

    View of excavated foundations of a rectangular Anglo-Saxon House.