AN excavation on the town's earliest known settlement began this week as the Marlow Archaeological Society (MAS) attempted to find out more about our ancestors in the Thames Valley.

The dig began on Tuesday in Low Grounds Farm in the Harleyford Estate where Marlow's first ever residents lived at a time when the rest of the town was just a lake.

Pam Knight, fieldwork secretary, said: "The first few days went brilliantly. We have been taking off the top layer of three different areas (trenches) in different spots the most interesting one will be expanded to a minimum of 20 metres by 20 metres so it's going to be a really big dig. It has already showed up what appears to be the remains of pits which suggests people were there."

The site was once several islands and is a late Neolithic to Bronze Age settlement (3000 - 800 BC) known to include a mortuary enclosure and a barrow cemetery.

The dig will be professionally supervised by Oxford Archaeology and is the second half of a two-part dig which began in Cookham last year.

It is being funded by a £22,589 Local Heritage Initiative (LHI) grant and its findings will be included in the English Heritage Sites and Monuments Record.

People who are keen to see what kind of treasures are being unearthed at Low Grounds are encouraged to come along to the dig's open day on Sunday (July 16) from 10am until 4pm.

l For more information contact MAS on 01628 473100