Archaeology is the study of people in the past using the evidence
they have left behind, from buildings to field systems, from their
everyday rubbish to their most precious treasures. In the towns,
villages and countryside of West Suffolk, the evidence survives all around us,
and at Moyse's Hall some of the finest fragments recovered from our remote past
are on show.
The First Hunters 400,000 - 8500 BC
The Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age describes the hundreds of thousands of years
- over 95% of all human existence - that people lived as roaming hunters.
Using stone, flint, antler, bone and wood for their tools and weapons, they
followed the seasonal patterns of animal and vegetable life. For much of the
period, ice sheets covered our local landscape and life would have been
impossible. However, there were warmer spells in the lee Age lasting
20,000-30,000 years when hunting groups would roam north-westwards from
Central Southern Europe across what is now the North Sea and English Channel.
At Hoxne, hand axes and flakes have been found dating from one of these warm
spells around 350,000-300,000 years ago - the Hoxnian Interglacial.