World War Two Ipswich airfield site reveals Bronze Age finds

Archaeological site in Ipswich
Image caption Archaeologist have two weeks to research the 2.2-acre (0.89 hectare) site to the south-east of Ipswich

An archaeological dig on the site of a former World War Two airfield in Suffolk has revealed evidence of Bronze Age burial chambers.

The site, on the outskirts of Ipswich, is being excavated in readiness for a new care home due to open in 2015.

Fragments of pottery and urns indicated the site was "very close to a burial mound", archaeologists said.

The finds will be recorded and stored at Suffolk County Council's archaeology department.

Mark Hinman from Pre-Construct Archaeology said: "This is very much preservation by record, we record it so people can get on and build.

Image caption The site has revealed fragments of decorated pottery

"We've found fragments of beaker pottery, which is quite decorated with zigzag designs and collared urn vessels.

"These were usually used in the burial of human remains in the Bronze Age period, so these items give us a sense we're very close to a burial mound.

"It's still early days but we're digging various ditches. Nearby excavations have shown this area was a popular settlement for farming and the burial mounds indicate a high population in the period.

"They also show a claim of ownership on the land and how we were moving from a mobile hunter/gathering society into the settled farmers we became as a nation."

The new care home, built on the site of the former Ipswich Airport, will provide nursing and dementia care services for up to 80 residents, along with day care activities.

Councillor Alan Murray, cabinet member for health and adult care, said: "These finds will help us to understand more about the history of this area and the Bronze Age in general."

The Ravenswood development is part of a £60m Care UK investment programme in partnership with Suffolk County Council.

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