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The dig also uncovered a defensive Iron Age enclosure and more signs of industrial activity that might date to the foundation of the first abbey.
Perhaps we also need to start to think of the site as an Anglo-Saxon industrial estate,” said Sarah.“Very little domestic pottery and few artefacts have been found, which is what we would expect.
The Whitby Headland site could disappear within 20 years.
Experts are studying a carved stone recently uncovered on Whitby Abbey Headland in North Yorkshire to see if it represents the first Bronze Age artefact from the site.
Iron and glass-making required large fires and sparks would soon have set houses ablaze, so it looks as if they were kept well apart.”English Heritage is trying to collect as much information as possible from the site before the clifftop erodes away.Last year it commissioned a project to identify historic sites vulnerable to coastal erosion along 85 miles of coastline from Whitby to North Lincolnshire, to form part of a national picture of the threat posed by rising sea levels and coastal erosion.An archaeological team returned this autumn for a six-week dig, and found an even more intriguing object – a mysterious stone carved with linear markings.Measuring about 40cm by 50cm, it appears to be of the type of Bronze Age carved stones found on the North York Moors in 2003, dating from 2000BC-700BC.“It’s potentially a very significant find as we have hardly any material from this period in the headland’s past,” said archaeologist Sarah Jennings.“But we need to wait for detailed analysis before we draw firm conclusions.