Film about Bronze Age settlement discovery at Must Farm near Whittlesey to be screened at Norwich Castle

PUBLISHED: 16:47 10 January 2020

Artist Laura Wilson has made a film about the Bronze Age settlement that was discovered at Must Farm near Whittlesey. 'Deepening' is to be screened at Norwich Castle from January 18 to March 29. Picture: RUI PIGNATELLI/NEW GEOGRAPHIES

Artist Laura Wilson has made a film about the Bronze Age settlement that was discovered at Must Farm near Whittlesey. 'Deepening' is to be screened at Norwich Castle from January 18 to March 29. Picture: RUI PIGNATELLI/NEW GEOGRAPHIES

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A film about the discovery of a Bronze Age settlement at Must Farm near Whittlesey is being screened at Norwich Castle.

Artist Laura Wilson has made a film about the Bronze Age settlement that was discovered at Must Farm near Whittlesey. 'Deepening' is to be screened at Norwich Castle from January 18 to March 29. Picture: RUI PIGNATELLI/NEW GEOGRAPHIESArtist Laura Wilson has made a film about the Bronze Age settlement that was discovered at Must Farm near Whittlesey. 'Deepening' is to be screened at Norwich Castle from January 18 to March 29. Picture: RUI PIGNATELLI/NEW GEOGRAPHIES

Artist Laura Wilson has created the film titled 'Deepening', which explores the hidden landscape of Must Farm and will be shown in the Boudica Gallery at Norwich Castle from January 18 to March 29. It will then be screened across the region from April to June 2020.

The Must Farm pile-dwelling site is a well-preserved settlement dating to the end of the Bronze Age (c. 850BC) located on the edge of a working quarry.

The site, which is known as the UK's Pompeii, was excavated by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit. It revealed many discoveries about how people lived and worked.

Artist Laura Wilson has made a film about the Bronze Age settlement that was discovered at Must Farm near Whittlesey. 'Deepening' is to be screened at Norwich Castle from January 18 to March 29. Picture: RUI PIGNATELLI/NEW GEOGRAPHIESArtist Laura Wilson has made a film about the Bronze Age settlement that was discovered at Must Farm near Whittlesey. 'Deepening' is to be screened at Norwich Castle from January 18 to March 29. Picture: RUI PIGNATELLI/NEW GEOGRAPHIES

Working with Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Wilson explores this and other discoveries, opening up questions around labour, trade and everyday life.

The exhibition includes twelve Bronze Age vessels that have been excavated from the Must Farm site on loan from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit.

It also includes objects and seating from Laura Wilson's performance Deep, Deepen, Deepening which took place at Must Farm Quarry in October 2019.

Cambridge archaeologists examine a 'pristine' Bronze Age bowl. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU), photo Dave WebbCambridge archaeologists examine a 'pristine' Bronze Age bowl. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU), photo Dave Webb

Wilson was commissioned by Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery as part of the East Contemporary Visual Arts Network three-year project, New Geographies, led by Wysing Arts Centre.

New Geographies aims to create a new map of the East of England based on unexplored or overlooked places.

In 2017, the public was invited to nominate locations in the region that they found meaningful or interesting to them.

Excavation of the structure’s palisade – posts encircling the dwelling site – during the exploratory investigation in 2006Excavation of the structure’s palisade – posts encircling the dwelling site – during the exploratory investigation in 2006

Over 270 sites were identified, with ten artists commissioned to highlight some of these places through new site-specific work.

Artist, Laura Wilson, said: "It has been such a privilege to have worked so closely with Mark Knight and his team at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit and Forterra to realise this project.

"Must Farm has revealed such fascinating insights into how people lived and worked during the Bronze Age period, within a broader landscape that even today, is continually changing and adapting."

Bronze Age Wheel at Must Farm one metre in diameter, with hub clearly visible. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU), photo Dave WebbBronze Age Wheel at Must Farm one metre in diameter, with hub clearly visible. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU), photo Dave Webb

Dr Rosy Gray, curator of modern and contemporary art at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, said: "Wilson has painstakingly researched this unique landscape through the eyes of those who work there, providing a fresh and radical new perspective on our collective archaeological histories."

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Mark Knight, lead archaeologist at Must Farm, Cambridge Archaeological Unit, said: "The Must Farm quarry is the biggest hole in Fenland and as such is unparalleled in the perspective it affords on this deeply buried landscape.

A Bronze Age roundhouse in plan showing the inner and outer post rings and collapsed roof timbers 'like spokes in a wheel'. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU), photo Dave WebbA Bronze Age roundhouse in plan showing the inner and outer post rings and collapsed roof timbers 'like spokes in a wheel'. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU), photo Dave Webb

"As archaeologists we are very fortunate to be able to explore the prehistoric settlements and sediments exposed by this vast aperture.

New Geographies is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence.

For more information visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/norwich-castle/whats-on/exhibitions/deepeningnewgeographies.uk

Bronze Age piles preserved within the river silts and collapsed structural timbers. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit, photo by Dave WebbBronze Age piles preserved within the river silts and collapsed structural timbers. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit, photo by Dave Webb

Excavating the site. Removal of river silts to expose the wood. Copyright Cambridge Archaeology Unit, photo by Dave WebbExcavating the site. Removal of river silts to expose the wood. Copyright Cambridge Archaeology Unit, photo by Dave Webb

Bronze Age Palisade (c1000-800 BC). A continuous row of ash poles encircling the pile dwelling. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit, photo by Dave WebbBronze Age Palisade (c1000-800 BC). A continuous row of ash poles encircling the pile dwelling. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit, photo by Dave Webb

A nested set of ceramic pots, stacked inside one another. This Bronze Age community have a large array of household goods- even 3000 years ago people seemed to have a lot of stuff. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU), photo Dave WebbA nested set of ceramic pots, stacked inside one another. This Bronze Age community have a large array of household goods- even 3000 years ago people seemed to have a lot of stuff. Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU), photo Dave Webb

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