We know there is a very long history to this area because of the work of archaeologists, excavating and examining buried remains. Artefacts – pottery, human and animal bones and other material – and the shape of the features originally dug, allow dating according to established dated material from elsewhere.
You are never far from an archaeological site in this country because it is ancient and has always been a very attractive proposition for colonisation. There are riches present in abundance, whether it be mineral resources or agricultural produce. Over the ages there have been waves of peoples moving in from the continent. They all leave their mark with rituals and artefacts specific to their culture. All we have to do is find it! Mostly by chance, but we are getting good at guessing the whereabouts of probable archaeological sites.
The Kent County Council 2004 “Kent Historic Towns Survey for Deal” gives a map of areas that are archaeologically sensitive. We would argue that certain other areas should also be added because we know of very old structures in other places – such as Upper Deal Mill. It is also important to look at the geography of the landscape – we can work out which parts were under the sea or in the Wantsum Channel, even as recently as the Roman Occupation, and so cannot possibly have any remains, or can they? The Lydden Valley research group have marked Roman and other remains found onto maps of the area including the Sandhills right through to Sandwich.
Major archaeological features in our area are:
· Mesolithic finds at Finglesham
· An elite Late-Bronze age enclosure and settlement at the top of Mill Hill. 1500-700BC
· Early Iron age settlements
· The Deal Man – a chalk carved figurine in a subterranean Druid shrine.
· High status Warrior – an Iron age Celtic burial 300-150BC
· Roman Villa at Worth
· Major Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Finglesham
· Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at the top of Mill Hill
Further information on specific sites is available through the Archaeologia Cantiana archive of published research from the Kent Archaeological Society. A CD of the complete contents is available.