Iron Age feast found in road upgrade near Black Cat roundabout on Cambridgeshire-Bedfordshire border
Remains of a feast with cooking pots and animal bones dating back to the Middle Iron Age have been unearthed by archaeologists working on a notorious congestion hotspot.
Archaeologists have been excavating on a proposed improvement scheme from the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet in Bedfordshire.
At a site known as Field 44 near the village of Tempsford, the team have uncovered evidence of a settlement of an ancient farm dating back to the Middle Iron Age (c300-100 BC).
Two large round houses have been unearthed, containing evidence of the remains of butchered animals, pottery, loom weights and personal items.
"The old rubbish tells us what these people were cooking, how they used their vessels, whether they were cooking or drinking out of these things," said project director Gary Brogan.
"It also lets us know if there was trade going on between different settlements."
Flint arrowheads have also been found dating back to the Neolithic (c4000-2200BC) and Bronze Age (c2600-700BC), suggesting people were hunting animals in the area.
Dr Steve Sherlock, the project's archaeology lead, said: “The farmstead and artefacts we have unearthed near Tempsford is a hugely exciting and significant find as it helps to further shape our understanding of what life in Bedfordshire was like over a period of 6,000 years.
"What is particularly exciting is that the site was initially established beside a substantial boundary ditch, and we think this boundary was used to define perhaps a tribal area."
National Highways' plans for the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvement scheme will see the remaining section of single carriageway between Milton Keynes and Cambridge replaced by a 10-mile dual carriageway.
The junction, where the A1, A421 and the A428 meet, is currently a regular bottleneck for motorists.
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