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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 March 2008, 11:44 GMT
Ancient Seahenge 'returns home'
The ancient timber circle found off the coast of Norfolk
A timber circle dating back 4,000 years which was found in the sea off the Norfolk coast is to return to the county in a permanent display.

Seahenge, with 55 oak posts and a central upturned stump dating from the Bronze Age, was found emerging from a beach at Holme-next-the-Sea in 1998.

Timbers were studied at the Bronze Age Centre, Peterborough, then preserved at the Mary Rose Trust, Portsmouth.

Next month Seahenge will go on display at the Lynn Museum in King's Lynn.

After Seahenge was excavated, 3D laser scanning revealed the earliest metal tool marks on wood ever discovered in Britain.

'Remains mysterious'

Archaeologists at the Bronze Age Centre, believe between 50 and 80 people may have helped build the circle, possibly to mark the death of an important individual.

Seahenge became exposed at low tides after the peat dune covering it was swept away by winter storms.

The site's excavation was initially halted by protests by a group of about 12 Druids and environmental campaigners who said the sea had cared for the site for 4,000 years and would continue to do so.

But researchers said the exposed wood was deteriorating fast.

Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Norfolk County Council has been provided for the Seahenge Gallery project at the Lynn Museum which will house the timber, displayed in its original formation.

The central stump, which is still being treated, will join the gallery at a later date.

John Gretton, of Norfolk County Council, said: "The discovery of Seahenge in the summer of 1998 captured the imagination of the public and archaeologists alike.

"Whilst the research done on the timbers has led to some historians drawing conclusions, the original function of Seahenge remains mysterious, and I hope that visitors will flock to the newly restored Lynn Museum to speculate on the ancient meaning behind the timbers - which we were able to rescue for all time from further damage."

Axe marks in 4,000 year old wood

Permanent home plan for Seahenge
22 Jun 03 |  Norfolk
Seahenge goes on tour
10 Jun 03 |  Norfolk
Seahenge dated to spring 2050 BC
01 Dec 99 |  Science/Nature
Seahenge gives up its secrets
08 Jul 99 |  Science/Nature
'Seahenge' moves on
26 May 99 |  Science/Nature

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