Possible ancient trackway across marshland found

Archaeologists discovered and secured prehistoric timbers found 650 metres offshore at Cooper’s Beach on Mersea Island, Essex, England.

Excavation of the timbers (by CITiZAN)

The timber was recovered after a local oysterman first spotted the wood after it was exposed by raging winter storms. The timbers may have formed part of a 75m long planked trackway connecting wet and drier areas of marshland, enabling people to move across the landscape. Each of the planks have axe-marks and sockets cut through the ends which would have been used to stake the structure firmly to the ground.

Timber after removal from the site (by CITiZAN)

According to the archaeologists the timbers are possibly part of a much bigger archaeological site sitting on a long lost landscape. Radiocarbon and dendrochronological (tree-ring) dating methods are scheduled to be conducted on the recovered remains. Initial investigations suggest that the wooden trackway was prehistoric, potentially dating to the Bronze Age, but this will be determined through scientific dating.

Bronze Age axe compared with the hole in the timber (by CITiZAN)

(after East Anglian Daily Times & CITiZAN)

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