Power company project becomes one of Europe's largest archeological digs

The site included the skull of an auroch, an extinct species of cattle.

Story highlights

  • The 16,000-square-meter site is one of the largest archaeological digs in Europe
  • Among the findings: an animal skull, pottery, building structures, bones, coins

(CNN)A Neolithic trackway dating to 2300 B.C. was uncovered in a nondescript field in Suffolk, on the east coast of England, thanks to a power company.

Among the findings at the site were the skull of an auroch -- an extinct species of wild cattle dating to about 4000 B.C. -- as well as pottery, building structures, bones, coins and poles to designate the route of the ancient trackway, the centerpiece of this particular excavation. Trackways are ancient roadways that formed when people or animals repeatedly tread the same path.
    "Undoubtedly this is a site of international archaeological significance. It is exceptionally rare to find preserved organic materials from the Neolithic period, and we will learn a great deal from this discovery," said Richard Newman, associate director at Wardell Armstrong, the company overseeing the dig.
    The site -- which is 16,000 square meters -- is one of the largest archaeological digs in Europe. Though the site dates to the Neolithic time period, considered to be the later part of the Stone Age, the project has uncovered artifacts from the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and Medieval periods, as well.