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27. As with the Mesolithic, the evidence for Neolithic watercraft is limited to discoveries of log boats and the precise nature of maritime activities remains unclear. The discovery of a prehistoric logboat has been reported from the River Orwell (Suffolk HER FRT 004) although this date is unproven and it may be of later date. Further logboats of unknown date have also been reported from the River Stour (Suffolk HER - HRK Misc) and on the River Orwell opposite Pond Ouze Point (Suffolk HER - IPS Misc).


28.


The scale of seafaring activities is considered to have grown through the Bronze Age (2,400 – 700 BC) and Iron Age (700 BC – AD 43) with evidence of significant advances in technology and vessel size. Logboats and hide boats remained in use alongside new vessel types such as the flat-bottomed sewn plank boats suited to a wider variety of uses in a wider range of environments (McGrail 2004). These are the earliest known form of plank construction with planks lashed together and made watertight.


29.


Some 97 records with a date range that falls within the Late Prehistoric period (Neolithic to Iron Age) were identified as part of the Early Ships and Boats project (Wessex Archaeology 2013:33) within England’s wreck resource, comprising two boat burials, three designated wrecks, 84 logboats and eight findspots. Of the 84 logboats, only two were identified as surviving in an archaeological context. This rarity once again highlights the potential importance and historical value of remains of watercraft dating to this period. The potential for the discovery of further examples of early craft within stratified contexts is well demonstrated by the discovery of six logboats in a clay-pit at Must Farm near Peterborough in 2011, variously dating between the Middle Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age (Cambridge Archaeological Unit: 2012; English Heritage 2012:5). Although discovered onshore, these logboats are testament to the high level of preservation afforded by waterlogged environments and signify the potential similar finds to exist within comparable environments both offshore and onshore. Artefacts discovered at Must Farm are also indicative of extensive and complex sea and riverine trade routes within the Bronze Age and Iron Age, potential relics of which cannot be discounted within the Study Area, particularly within Holocene alluvium sediments.


30. A closer unity between Britain and the southern North Sea margin was established during the Romano-British period (AD 43 to 410) with an expansion and diversification of trade with the Continent. The later Iron Age saw the emergence of a distinct tradition of “Romano-Celtic” shipbuilding representing both Roman and northern European methods, capable of coastal and oceanic voyages and reflecting substantial, sea-going trade.


Preliminary Environmental Information May 2014


East Anglia THREE Offshore Windfarm


Appendix 17.1 Potential Archaeological Receptors


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