New discoveries at Happisburgh
Six new archaeological sites have been found at Happisburgh since 2000 with new discoveries being made on a regular basis. Most of the sites are on the foreshore, but one lies about 2 km out to sea.
English Heritage have funded a three year project to understand how the different sites relate. Nick Ashton (British Museum), Simon Parfitt (Natural History Museum) and Simon Lewis (Queen Mary University of London) are working with teams from Trinity St David's, St Andrews and Southampton universities to piece together the complex relationships.
Coring and geophysics
A combination of coring and geophysics is being used along the beach and cliff-tops to understand the relationships of the geological deposits. A series of river channels have been identified beneath the beach sand, all of which contain fossil bones, plant remains and sometimes flint artefacts.
The off-shore site at Happisburgh (Site 5) was discovered through the recovery on the beach of iron-concreted blocks of gravel containing wood and bone. Some of the bone has cut-marks from human butchery. The blocks of gravel are being washed on to the beach from an off-shore deposit, although the exact location has yet to be found. Diving teams and a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) are descending to over 10 m depth to locate the source of the sediment.