The archaeology students from the University’s School of European Culture and Languages (SECL) joined Kent Archaeological Society (KAS), who started a large-scale dig at Lees Court estate, Badlesmere.
KAS have already found a mid-Neolithic (3300-2900 BC) causewayed enclosure in the area that had previously been thought to be a landscape with little of archaeological interest.
However, a geophysical survey identified a ring-ditch half a kilometre to the south of the KAS dig site and the University team excavated there. The students who worked on the ring-ditch found that it contained worked-flint from a knapping process and prehistoric pottery and appears to encircle the remains of a burial mound.
Intriguingly there is also evidence of the existence of a post-hole that may indicate an ancient building on the site.
Dr David Walsh, Lecturer in Archaeology at Kent, said: ‘To have found as much as we did is amazing and an exciting opportunity for further investigation of this in future. Ideally in years ahead, we would dig more deeply in targeted areas to try to gain a better understanding of this barrow. This is invaluable experience for our archaeology students.’
KAS and Lees Court estate began a joint 15-year project in 2017 to archaeologically evaluate the 6,900 acre estate. Seventeen undergraduates from the University of Kent were among volunteers who took part in the evaluation thanks to funding provided by Kent alumnus Paul Dyer and KAS.