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Dry summer reveals region's buried history

Exceptional dry conditions over the summer has helped reveal some of the region's hidden history.

Prehistoric settlements, burial mounds and Iron Age, Bronze Age and Roman farms have been revealed including two Neolithic monuments near Clifton Reynes at Milton Keynes and a prehistoric settlement or cemetery at Stoke by Clare in Suffolk.

Prehistoric settlement or cemetery at Stoke by Clare in Suffolk Credit: Historic England

Over the past few months archaeologists have been flying over sites looking for patterns in crops and grass that reveal thousands of years of buried English history.

The cropmarks reveal layouts of buried ditches or walls that once defined settlements, field boundaries or funerary monuments dating back to prehistoric times. They are revealed as differences in colour or in the height of crops or grass.

Two Neolithic cursus monuments near Clifton Reynes, Milton Keynes Credit: Historic England

"This is the first potential bumper year in what feels like a long time. It is very exciting to have hot weather for this long. 2011 was the last time we had an exceptional year when we discovered over 1,500 sites, with most on the claylands of eastern England.”

– Helen Winton, Historic England