Site Update: Bowling Green Farm Quarry, Faringdon, Oxfordshire

Fieldwork at the quarry over many years has variously recorded a large Iron Age into Roman settlement, Bronze Age ring ditch, early Iron Age enclosure, Double ditched Roman enclosure and Iron Age linear ditches, variously reported in South Midlands Archaeology and Oxonsiensia.

A new season of fieldwork was unremarkable except for the location of a small and isolated group of Early Iron Age pits. What was particularly unusual was that the pits had been densely backfilled with very large fragments of broken pottery weighing several ten of kilos. A mundane interpretation of the deposit is that they represent a short-lived or ephemeral occupation site leaving no other below ground traces, much the same as is expected for earlier Bronze Age and Neolithic settlement. But if the pits were as isolated in the contemporary Iron Age landscape as they appear now, then one can speculate widely as to what activity prompted the pit diggers to carry a large heavy load of what appears to be rubbish several hundred metres in order to dispose of it in these specific pits. Another archaeological mystery.

Prehistoric Pottery in a pit
Above: Pottery filling the section of the pit [708].

The extensive quantity of pottery includes decorated sections and multiple rim-sherds. It is currently being carefully cleaned before being sent to a specialist for further identification.

Prehistoric Pottery being excavated Prehistoric Pottery being excavated
Above: Various pottery sherds from pit [707]

The pottery that has been cleaned shows the details and fabrics clearly.

Cleaned Prehistoric Pottery Cleaned Prehistoric Pottery
Above: cleaned sherds of pottery from the pits.

The artefacts from the site are currently being analysed by specialists and a report is forthcoming. For information about similar sites please explore the links below.

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