Flag Fen


Flag Fen

Flag Fen (Coordinates: 52°34'27.71"N, 0°11'23.23"W) near Peterborough, England is a Bronze Age site, probably religious. It comprises a large number of poles arranged in five very long rows (around 1 km) connecting Whittlesey Island with Peterborough across the wet fenland. Part way across the structure, a small island was formed which is where it is presumed that the religious ceremonies occurred.

In the 10th century BC the ground level was much lower than today, increasing around 1 mm per year as autumnal debris is added to the surface of the fens. This caused the structure to be covered up and preserved. The anaerobic conditions found in the waterlogged soil prevented the timbers and other wooden objects from rotting away. The site was first discovered in 1982 when a team led by Francis Pryor carried out a survey of dykes in the area funded by English Heritage.

Due to extensive drainage of the surrounding area, many of the timbers are drying out and are threated with destruction. Archaeologists are studying it and there is a well-organised visitor centre there with museum and exhibitions. In the preservation hall one section of the timbers is preserved in-situ and prevented from drying out by misting with water. Also at the site are reconstructions of 2 Bronze Age roundhouses and one from the Iron Age. There is also an exposed section of the Roman road known as the Fen Causeway which crosses the site and a reconstruction of a Prehistoric droveway.

One section of the poles is being preserved by replacing the cellulose in the wood with water carried wax impregnating of the wood over the years. This technique is also being used to preserve Seahenge. Another preservation technique used for timbers found at the site is freeze drying.

In the surrounding water of Flag Fen votive offerings have been found, e.g., daggers broken in half placed on top of each other. This supports the theory that Flag Fen was a site involved in religious rites.

References

*Pryor, Francis "Flag Fen: Life and Death of a Prehistoric Landscape" Tempus Publishing Ltd. Stroud, 2005 (ISBN 0-7524-2900-0)

See also

*Durobrivae (Water Newton)
*Medeshamstede

External links

* [http://www.flagfen.com/ Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre and Archaeology Park]
* [http://www.flagfen.org/ Fenland Archaeological Trust] "registered charity no. 295116"
* [http://timeteam.wordpress.com// Flag Fen BLOG]
* [http://www.peterboroughheritage.org.uk/ Peterborough Museum]


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