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Occasional Paper 1: Medieval Occupation at RAF Quedgeley, Gloucestershire
Occasional Paper 1 presents the results of archaeological excavations at the site of the former RAF Quedgeley, Gloucestershire. The archaeological potential of the area was confirmed by field evaluation comprising both geophysical survey and trial trenching, being just north of the Scheduled medieval moat at Manor Farm. Excavation revealed a sequence of occupation dating from the 11th century AD through to the 18th, with a farmhouse rebuilt several times between the 11th and 15th centuries. One notable interest of the site lies in the evidence of pottery supply to a rural community over this long time span. There is also limited evidence for Iron Age and Roman occupation in the area.
Occasional Paper 2: Medieval Boundaries and an early Post-medieval Manor House at Beeches Manor, Reading Road, Wokingham, Berkshire
Excavations on the site of Beeches Manor revealed evidence for medieval, early post-medieval, and 19th–20th century occupation. The medieval occupation is represented only by enclosure ditches and a pit, over a time span which the pottery chronology is unable to help refine between the 11th and 15th centuries. A substantial house on the site, perhaps dating from the early 17th century, is known to have formed the core of a building destroyed by fire in 1961. This may be supposed to have been built by alderman John Whitlock, who owned the manor at least by 1628. Cartographic evidence from the 18th and early 19th century shows a larger complex of buildings on the site which included a brewhouse. The central portion of this house survived while the remainder of the complex was comprehensively demolished between 1817 and 1830. The core of the house was then extended and the gardens were re-landscaped, either at the same time or at least prior to 1909, to include a sunken lawn, a pond and several outbuildings, greenhouses and cisterns/wells.
Occasional Paper 3: Middle Bronze Age and Middle Iron Age Occupation and Post-medieval Lime Kilns at RAF Staff College, Broad Lane, Bracknell, Berkshire
An excavation within the grounds of the former RAF Staff College site, Bracknell revealed a number of features ranging in date from middle Bronze Age to post-medieval. Two phases of prehistoric activity were recorded: the middle Bronze Age represented by pits; and the middle Iron Age represented by pits, two ring gully structures, dated by radiocarbon, and field boundaries. A few sherds of medieval pottery point to only slight use of the site at this time. Much more activity was recorded for early post-medieval times with various ditched boundaries and pits, and an area of industrial activity dating from the mid 16th to 17th century which comprised two lime kilns and a well and may relate to the production of mortar for construction of Ramslade House which formed the original Staff College.
Occasional Paper 4: Medieval Occupation in Marston, Oxford
Marston, just to the north-east of Oxford, has seen little formal archaeological investigation. Over the winter of 2012/13, two small excavations side by side revealed a surprising density of medieval pits and ditches, giving the first indications of the medieval layout of the village, with origins apparently in the 12th century, and little that need be later than the 14th century. There appears to be a distinct break in occupation through the 15th century before a modest revival in the 16th. Although the areas investigated were relatively small, and no structural remains were encountered, the north-eastern edge of the settlement seems to have been established, in much the same position as it was mapped in the late 18th century: the boundary ditches excavated here bounded an area that contained pits to the south and west and no features to north and east.
Occasional Paper 5: Bronze Age and Middle Iron Age Occupation and Roman Fields at Lidsey Landfill, Woodgate, West Sussex
Evaluation trenching and subsequent open area excavation were undertaken in advance of expansion at Lidsey Landfill in West Sussex. The fieldwork revealed predominantly prehistoric occupation with the Middle Bronze Age through to Middle Iron Age being the principal periods represented by clusters of pits and postholes followed by enclosures and small areas of fields. The area was overlain by a series of Roman field boundaries which commenced early in the Roman period but had gone out of use by later Roman times. Subsequent activity was only represented by a few sherds of early Saxon pottery, a medieval pit and post-medieval and modern field boundaries.
Occasional Paper 6: Medieval Haddenham, Buckinghamshire: Excavations at Townsend and Fort End, 2011 and 2013
This paper details the findings of two excavations undertaken at locations within Haddenham. The first of these, at 5 Townsend, was conducted in 2011 and uncovered evidence of the development of the late Saxon and medieval village. The findings showed that this period of occupation was followed by a time of abandonment before reuse in the post-medieval period. Residual pre-Saxon finds hint at the sporadic use of the site in earlier periods. The second excavation was undertaken at 2 Fern Lane, Fort End in 2013. Here the digging revealed a series of linear ditches of an 11th - 12th century date which most likely represent a property boundary relating to a 'croft'. This boundary was redefined several times before being abandoned in the 12th century, much earlier than the commonly observed phases of abandonment in the 14th century Haddenham and elsewhere.
Occasional Paper 7: Medieval Settlement at Oak Farm, Milcombe, Banbury, Oxfordshire: Excavation in 2012
An excavation at Oak Farm has explored a component of the medieval settlement at Milcombe. Occupation appears to have commenced in the 11th century, perhaps within the late Saxon period with the construction of a droveway. The manor of Milcombe was mentioned in Domesday Book in 1086. Subsequent phases of use in the 11th-13th century included the presence of rectangular post-built structures. These were eventually replaced by stone-founded buildings in the 13th to 15th centuries which also included a probable dovecote. Evidence of use in the early post-medieval period is rather slight but the site become incorporated within the Oak Farm complex in the 19th century.
Occasional Paper 8: Roman and Medieval occupation at the former Worcester City Football Club, St George's Lane, Worcester
A small area excavation revealed a dense cluster of multi-period archaeological deposits ranging from (probably) the Iron Age, Roman, medieval and post-medieval periods. A single un-urned cremation burial is only very tentatively dated to the late Iron Age, but could equally be Roman. The site primarily comprised large boundary ditches, with a minimum of three reorganizations of the layout in the Roman period. Although a small number of pits and postholes were identified, and a moderate quantity of Roman tile, no associated structures were revealed, but the presence of this material suggests a building in the near vicinity. Large quantities of iron smelting slag and fragments of furnace lining suggest that iron production was occurring on or near to the site with a minimum of two furnaces implied. No furnace remains were present within the area examined.
Occasional Paper 9: Middle/Later Bronze Age Occupation at Manor Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex
A small excavation was carried out in advance of a housing development on the outskirts of Burgess Hill, following an earlier evaluation which revealed several Bronze Age features. The excavation uncovered an unenclosed occupation site radiocarbon dated to the middle to late Bronze Age and a possible cremation burial pit. While sites of this period are relatively common on the chalk downlands and coastal plain of Sussex, they are extremely rare on the claylands of the Weald. Two features were notable for the large number of clay loomweights they contained.
Occasional Paper 10: Excavation of Medieval Occupation at Ropetackle, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex
Archaeological excavation on High Street, Shoreham-on-Sea, West Sussex revealed new evidence for the development of the town. Apart from a few stray finds of prehistoric struck flints, the site and adjacent areas were first lightly used in late Iron Age and early Roman times. No further use is documented until the late 12th century, when the formation of New Shoreham is historically documented. The site is then well used during the 13th and 14th centuries for domestic occupation activities, perhaps as a part of a single, large landholding. In common with many other medieval settlements across England this use comes to an abrupt end in the late 14th century, an observation easier to make than explain, though epidemic disease, economic decline or, for a coastal town, naval warfare, may all have their part to play. Sustained reuse was not to take place until 19th-century terraced houses were built, followed by a cinema, car show room, and latterly, the residential accommodation which necessitated the excavations described below. This paper includes reports on modest but significant assemblages of pottery and animal bones (among other finds). The quantity of ship nails among the metal finds suggests ship-breaking was among the activities on the site or nearby.
Occasional Paper 11: Medieval and Post-medieval Occupation at 47 Endless Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire
An archaeological excavation in central Salisbury revealed continuous occupation from the 13th century to modern times. Several standing walls were constructed from chalk blocks and formed a two-cell shaft-and-pit garderobe of High Medieval date. This was replaced by a later medieval well and truncated by a post-medieval boundary wall. The disuse fills of the garderobe, as well as clusters of intercutting cess or rubbish pits, of later medieval date, contained valuable information on the site's economy and the inhabitants' diet. A single sherd of late Bronze Age pottery recovered from a heavily truncated pit within a pit cluster may be indicative of limited prehistoric activity in the area. The site is considered to represent a single back-yard plot in the medieval period, sub-divided in post-medieval times. This Occasional Paper contains reports on locally significant stratified and well-dated assemblages of pottery, metallic finds, animal bones and plant remains which will form a baseline for future research into the medieval city, whose archaeology, has previously been surprisingly patchily documented.
Occasional Paper 12: A Middle Bronze Age Pit Circle and Field System, and Roman Settlement at Hitches Lane, Fleet, Hampshire
Archaeological excavations were carried out in advance of development in five areas at Hitches Lane, Fleet. Of special interest was the prehistoric activity: a 42m diameter pit circle and land division of Middle Bronze Age date. Finds were relatively few, but the chronology is supported by three radiocarbon dates. The largest of the excavation areas also contained a substantial 2nd-century Roman rectangular timber-framed building set within a system of fields and paddocks, which was remodelled around the middle of the 3rd century. A substantial furnace was located within this building, and a smaller one outside the structure. The building fell out of use in the early 4th century. A post-built circular Roman building was also recorded. The final phase of activity consisted of an earlier system of land allotment than that depicted on the earliest Ordnance Survey maps of this area.
Occasional Paper 13: The Archaeology of four Pipelines in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire
This paper details the findings of recording actions undertaken during the stripping of four pipeline routes in Oxfordshire, West Berkshire and Wiltshire. Observations along a water pipeline route between Baydon Water Tower and Bailey Hill Reservoir on the Wiltshire/West Berkshire border recorded a Beaker-period pit; a possible Late Bronze Age enclosure; an undated lynchet possibly belonging to a ‘Celtic’ field pattern; part of the ‘Near Down ditch’ linear earthwork (also undated); and, most significantly, two overlapping Late Bronze Age post-built roundhouses. The second, located on the Kennet floodplain at Chamberhouse Farm, Crookham Common, Thatcham, recorded a complex series of palaeohydrological deposits on the floor of the Kennet Valley. These were overlain by a series of early Roman occupation deposits and, subsequently, medieval and post-medieval drainage ditches. Excavations on an easement in advance of pipe laying between Moulsford and Streatley on either side of the Oxfordshire/West Berkshire border revealed a Bronze Age ring ditch and two pit clusters of late Bronze Age date.
Two possible boundary ditches of early Iron Age date were also found. The final site is located on the Kingston Stert to Chinnor pipeline in eastern Oxfordshire. Here segments of two occupation sites of early and middle Roman date have been identified along with areas containing organised landscape features (field boundaries) also of Roman date. Isolated features of Bronze Age were also noted with one Bronze Age pit possibly having been involved in pottery production.
Occasional Paper 14: Two Roman Occupation Sites near Swindon: Wanborough and Purton
The two archaeological excavations presented in this volume, at Wanborough to the southeast of Swindon, and Purton to its west, primarily focus on Roman occupation and add to a growing picture of dense rural settlement in this area throughout the Roman period. At Stanley Close, Wanborough, the full extent of settlement was not exposed but the excavated area included enclosures defined by ditches and gullies, with pits and a possible drying oven. The deposits also include a decapitation burial, perhaps that of an old soldier. All seem to date to the middle to late part of the Roman period (later 2nd to 4th centuries AD). The economic evidence suggests a typical mixed agricultural settlement with the usual domesticated animals being raised and consumed on the site, but with an unexpectedly high incidence of horse. Charred plant remains were well represented, with wheat and some barley and oats, being grown and processed on the site.A few Neolithic or Bronze Age flint flakes along with a small amount of Iron Age pottery and pits suggest some earlier activity in the area. Similarly a few sherds of Saxon and medieval pottery probably reflect use of the site as arable farmland well after the Roman site has gone out of use. At Battlewell, Purton, Roman settlement seems to have been continuous between the 1st and 4th centuries. The early phase included a post-built round house (only partially revealed); the middle Roman phase consisted of pits and a kiln or furnace; but the majority of features belonged to the later Roman occupation, including a rectangular timber building, partial remains of a stone building, a drying oven (pottery- or corn-drier) and a well containing a human burial. Economic data here were less plentiful but probably point to the same mixed subsistence base.
Occasional Paper 15: Archaeological Excavations inNorth Hampshire: sites in Basingstoke, Andover and Odiham
This volume brings together the results of archaeological excavations on four sites in northern Hampshire. At Marnel Park, Popley, Basingstoke, ditched enclosures were constructed towards the end of the Iron Age (late 1st century BC or early 1st century AD) and remained in use into the Roman period (early 2nd century AD). The early abandonment adds to a growing picture of rural settlement instability within the Roman period.The excavation at 55 Chantry Street, Andover, mainly focussed on medieval occupation at what would then have been the edge of the town. The major feature might conceviably have been a mill race or a very substantial ditch, but its interpretation is very uncertain. The site was occupied from the 11th to 14th century but there was a marked lack of 15th- or early 16th-century evidence, until a cottage was built in the late 16th-century. Two sites on the High Street in in Odiham offer contrasting perspectives on the development of this relatively little explored town. At number 23, an early Roman occupation, probably a farm, does not appear to have lasted long but there was evidence for both middle and late Saxon phases, probably again a farm, with some evidence for ironworking, radiocarbon dated to the 7th century. If occupation extended into the Medieval at all, however, it was surprisingly slight for such a central location. At number 106, in contrast, nothing appears to be earlier than the 13th century, suggesting this date for an expansion of the settled area further east than previously imagined. Again, however, the occupation was short-lived and the town’s growth overall may have been equally so.
Occasional Paper 16: Earlier and Later Neolithic Pits, Middle Iron Age Burials and Iron Age and Roman Enclosure at Highbury Avenue, Salisbury, Wiltshire
Despite extensive truncation of the site by foundations and terracing from the buildings of a former school, multi-period remains survived to be excavated. The likely presence of remains on the site had first been recognised by aerial photography before the school was built. The earliest prehistoric activity was represented by single examples of early and middle Neolithic pits. This was followed by Iron Age enclosure and occupation, along with eleven inhumation burials certainly or probably of Middle Iron Age date. Four of the burials were radiocarbon dated to between 376-152 cal BC. Subsequent occupation continued into the Late Iron Age and early Roman period with the digging of another enclosure ditch. There followed an hiatus until later Roman re-occupation of the site with further ditch digging, probably forming another enclosure.
Occasional Paper 17: Archaeological Investigations in Sussex: Prehistoric and Roman features in Selsey, Worthing, Angmering and Horsham, and Medieval occupation in Hailsham, Horsham and Crawley
This collection of shorter papers details the findings of nine small excavations undertaken at locations across Sussex. The volume starts with a cluster of flint- and pottery- rich Earlier Neolithic pits at Worthing, followed by Bronze Age finds at Selsey and Angmering. A single Iron Age roundhouse at Broadbridge Heath, Horsham is notable for the rarity of such sites as yet recorded for the Weald. This is followed by Roman occupation at two locations in Worthing.The remaining papers belong to the Medieval period, with sites at Hailsham, Barns Green, near Horsham and two sites in Crawley both with evidence of iron production for which the Crawley region is well known.
Occasional Paper 18: Roman and Post-medieval landscape features at Manor Farm, Kempsford, Gloucestershire
Over the course of eleven campaigns of archaeological excavation, covering an area approximately 1.5km by 0.5km, several phases of landuse were defined. Dating is problematical but both early and late Roman elements can be identified, along with at least two post-medieval phases, and it is considered likely that some features on the site were pre-Roman (Iron Age), including a single, discontinuous boundary some 750m long. It is clear that a large parcel of landscape in the south-west of the site was divided up according to a single scheme in the Roman period, the basic elements of which (a ditched trackway and very large fields) lasted through Roman remodelling and appear to have influenced the post-medieval layout as well. A second, apparently unconnected, Roman field system occupies the north-east of the site. Finds of all kinds were rare and environmental evidence sparse, but molluscan analysis, nearly all from what have turned out to be post-medieval features, suggests the area was damp, perhaps water meadow, throughout that period. The disconnectedness of the Roman landscape elements supports the case for seeing this landscape as parcelled up on a large scale, yet at the same time piecemeal, with a density of a farm every kilometre or so.
Occasional Paper 19: Archaeological Excavations on Four Sites in Winchester, Hampshire
This volume brings together the results of archaeological excavations on four small sites in the historic city of Winchester, in Hampshire: two in the historic core of the medieval town, two just on its outskirts.The periods represented vary from site to site. On Northbrook Avenue in the eastern suburb of St Giles, a Neolithic pit, undated but possibly Saxon burials, and a post-medieval ditch form an eclectic mix. Hazelnut shell from the Neolithic pit provided a radiocarbon date at the beginning of the 3rd millennium cal BC. A case is made for the ditch (which is not intrinsically well dated) forming part of a Civil War earthwork, as it corresponds with an earthwork mapped as apparently already ancient in 1791. At Little Minster Street in the heart of the medieval town, early Roman occupation is unexpectedly joined by another Neolithic pit, all sealed by a succession of later Roman and medieval deposits. At Hyde Abbey Road on the northern edge of the medieval town, a long sequence of land-use begins in the late Saxon period and covers the medieval and early post-medieval periods, attesting to considerable efforts at drainage on land that was probably farmed from the Abbey and remained susceptible to flooding. Finally at Southgate Street, there is evidence for an early Roman west-east street surface, medieval buildings and further street surfaces.
Occasional Paper 20: Archaeological Excavations in Hampshire
Small archaeological excavations on five sites provided varied results from a range of periods. At Scratchface Lane, Bedhampton, a single pit, rich in burnt flint has been radiocarbon dated to the middle Bronze Age. The main finding, however, was an early Iron Age occupation site consisting of two post-built roundhouse structures, a pit cluster, and linear features. No Roman features that might be associated with the projected Roman road to the north were present.At Peronne Road, Hilsea, in Portsmouth, apart from one gully, which may be Roman, the datable features appear to represent occupation during the mid to late Bronze Age, medieval and post-medieval periods. The investigations provided new evidence for medieval occupation beyond the supposed limits of medieval Hilsea. From St Mary’s Street in Southampton comes further evidence for occupation within the middle Saxon settlement of Hamwic, succeeded by several phases of medieval occupation, including road surfaces that may be earlier versions of St Mary Street. At Bloswood Lane Whitchurch two small area excavations examined a collection of Late Neolithic features including a Grooved Ware pit. Most notable, however, was a hollow infilled with burnt flint-rich deposits which may indicate activities similar to those which produced ‘burnt mounds’ which are more typical of the Bronze Age. Finally at Wickham, there were deposits relating to late Iron Age and Roman occupation, including a trackway defined by parallel gullies which appears to have originated in the late Iron Age but is precisely on the projected line of the Roman road from Chichester to Bitterne, and was still in use in the 2nd century AD. Later pits (3rd century) were dug between the gullies and thus suggest that the road had gone out of use by that time. An unusual sherd of black samian is a notable find amongst the small pottery assemblage.
Occasional Paper 21: Archaeological Excavations on Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and Medieval Sites in Reading and Wokingham, Berkshire
Archaeological excavations on three sites around the south-eastern perimeter of modern Reading have led to the discovery of unexpected evidence for several periods in the area’s past. At Ridgeway School, a late Bronze Age burnt mound provided two radiocarbon dates and was accompanied by broadly contemporary pits. Occupation continued into the early Iron Age, and was resumed in the late Iron Age or early Roman period and lasted until middle Roman times, with abandonment, in or not long after AD274, being marked by the deposition of a coin hoard which the owner was never able to recover.At Matthewsgreen Farm, a middle Iron Age farm represented by a roundhouse, perhaps rebuilt twice, an animal pen, and a few pits was occupied for, probably, a short period around 400BC. Its inhabitants were engaged in iron production as well as farming. In the Roman period, occupation took place on a new site to the north, but again seems to have been a modest, largely self-sufficient farm. A surprising result of radiocarbon dating was the discovery that pits which had been considered to be charcoal clamps related to the Iron Age iron production were in fact medieval. At Croft Road in Spencers Wood, the more modest discovery of a middle Iron Age field system is nevertheless also of some interest as here, as with all three sites, the chronology is supported by a programme of radiocarbon dating.
Occasional Paper 22: A Bronze Age Cemetery and Field System, and Iron Age Occupation at Downton Manor Farm, Downton, Hampshire
This paper combines the results of archaeological excavations between 2010 and 2015, by Thames Valley Archaeological Services and Southern Archaeological Services, at Downton, near Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire. A combination of fieldwalking, geophysical survey and trial trench evaluation over a large area (18ha) in advance of mineral extraction had suggested that the site held only moderate archaeological interest, but excavation revealed a concentrated area of archaeological interest in the north-east corner.The earliest features were a series of ditches with rectilinear plan, thought to represent a middle Bronze Age organized landscape. This was followed by evidence of Bronze Age burial both as ring ditches (levelled burial mounds) and urned cremation burials (although the urns in fact contained very little burnt bone). Later occupation of Iron Age date included a ditched enclosure, roundhouses, both post-built and ring-gully type, and rare middle Iron Age cremation burial (radiocarbon dated). Other than the (highly fragmented) cremation urns themselves, finds were disappointingly scarce. The chronology of the site is, however, supported by a programme of radiocarbon dating.
Occasional Paper 23: Bronze Age, Roman and Early Anglo-Saxon Occupation on Land to the South of Kings Reach, Ditton Park, Slough, Berkshire
Archaeological excavation in advance of construction of Ditton Park Academy has examined a site with a long history of use, from the later Bronze Age through to the medieval period.The prehistoric phases on the site have proved difficult to date more closely than Bronze Age to Iron Age, but there are hints that phases include Middle Bronze Age, Late Bronze Age and early-middleIron Age. The post-built roundhouses, of which as many as six were found, must represent at least three phases of building which could be later Bronze Age or earlier Iron Age. A ditched enclosure can be given only a broad Iron Age date, but was recut in the Roman period, which also sees the creation of a second, more regular enclosure. Usually, a site occupied in the Roman period will produce considerably greater quantities of finds than an Iron Age one, but here there was a marked reduction in the amount of pottery. Either the Roman occupation was extremely short-lived, or this area was well away from the core of any settlement. The more noteworthy results involve the early Anglo-Saxon period. Although represented by just two Sunken Featured Buildings (SFB), and a handful of other features, they produced more finds and more important information. It is the two radiocarbon dates on residues from Anglo-Saxon pottery which are particularly significant with regard to the end of Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon settlement. The Thames Valley is considered to have been well colonized by the later 5th century. The dating here of two demonstrably Anglo-Saxon artefacts, one to the late 4th century, the other possibly as early, or not much later, are difficult to explain unless Anglo-Saxon colonization is already well underway before the end of the 4th century, still within Roman times.
Occasional Paper 24: Micheldever and King's Worthy, Winchester, Hampshire: Archaeological Excavations in 2013
This volume brings together the results of archaeological excavations on two sites to the north of Winchester.The main report features Saxon, medieval and early post-medieval occupation in Micheldever, where, other than one possible Iron Age pit, the earliest features date to the early-middle Saxon period. Despite a higher density of features in the later Saxon period, no building remains were identified. There is some evidence of iron smithing and quarrying. The medieval occupation spans four phases from the 11th to the 16th century, but with very little evidence after the 14th. An early and long-lived trackway and a field/paddock possibly formed part of a manorial enclosure. A timber-framed building dates to the earliest medieval phase, with more evidence for smithing and quarrying. Nothing indicates especially high status however, and archaeologically visible activity dwindles through the medieval period. In the 16th century a major change sees buildings and formal gardens probably related to the estate of Thomas Wriothesley, later Lord Chancellor. It has been thought that remains uncovered in the 1970s, immediately to the west, were of Wriothesley’s main hall, so it is possible that the buildings here were outhouses or barns. A smaller site in King’s Worthy is chiefly notable for its proximity to the sites of Iron Age ‘banjo’ enclosures and a Roman villa, both Scheduled. The excavation provided new evidence for late Iron Age occupation and a small cremation cemetery. A small quantity of Roman pottery recovered from an enclosure ditch suggests it remained open into the early Roman period.
Occasional Paper 25: Middle Iron Age, Late Iron Age and Roman Occupation at Hatch Farm, Winnersh, Reading, Berkshire
This volume presents the results of archaeological investigations over a large area in advance of a major housing development in central Berkshire. Although, under the requirements of the development planning process, increasing attention is being paid to the archaeology of this middle part of the Thames valley, it remains less intensively and extensively explored than either areas upstream or further east.The excavation of one large, and several small, areas within an overall site of almost 50ha has revealed the presence of middle and late Iron Age and early Roman deposits in the form of field systems and a farmstead, with five round houses and a series of enclosures. Three small square enclosures are of uncertain function and date but may also be middle Iron Age. A reasonably large pottery assemblage is supported by a series of radiocarbon dates, but other artefacts and ecofacts were surprisingly sparse. The site seems to have been occupied from the 5th century BC until the 4th century AD, although it is unclear if this was more or less continuous, or episodic, but at least the Roman phases all appear to build directly upon one another with no obvious sign of discontinuity in layout. The inhabitants do not appear to have been wealthy at any point in this lengthy occupation, but the mere survival of the site for so long runs contrary to a regional trend, which sees few Late Iron Age, much less Middle Iron Age, sites, survive beyond the early Roman period.
Occasional Paper 26: Archaeological Excavations on Roman, Saxon and Medieval Sites in Harwell and Longcot, Oxfordshire
This volume presents the results from three excavations in the Vale of the White Horse in Oxfordshire: two side by side on Blenheim Hill in Harwell and one in nearby Longcot.On the larger of the Harwell sites, a series of Roman enclosures and land divisions along with pits, a corn drier and a coin hoard were identified. The site may have been first used as a work-place in the Mesolithic, but the main phases were one early Roman and three late Roman episodes, with an apparent hiatus from the 2nd to early 3rd century. A few sherds of Saxon pottery hint that the last phase continued into the 5th century. Two deposits of cremated human bone (three individuals) were undated but might belong to the early Roman period. Just across the road, the second excavation found further later Roman enclosures but nothing of early Roman date. Four Middle Saxon inhumation burials, two of which were radiocarbon dated, were located within the area that was possibly still marked by the latest Roman enclosure. A possible Bronze Age pit points to prehistoric activity on the site. Further west in Longot, the third site revealed a dense sequence of field boundary ditches spanning several phases in the early Roman period (2nd century AD) and early Medieval period (11th–13th centuries AD), with just a few other features (pits and post holes) of both periods. Prehistoric and later Roman activity is reflected only in residual finds. Although no direct (structural) evidence of occupation on the site was found for either period, the quantity of pottery indicates that settlement can be expected not far away. This is the first indication of Roman occupation in Longcot.
Occasional Paper 27: An Early to Middle Iron Age Settlement at the Former Elvian School, Reading, Berkshire
This volume presents the results from excavations of an Iron Age settlement densely used from at least the start of the 5th century BC through to perhaps the 1st century BC/AD. The early and middle phases on the site are marked by an unenclosed complex of ring gully structures, pits and postholes with little evidence of organized space except for a trackway defined by fences and gullies that was maintained through the whole use of the site and never encroached upon. Several of the ring gullies had been remodelled on three or four occasions and there is clear time depth to the occupation. The ring gullies provided radiocarbon dates commencing in the 5th/4th centuries BC into the 3rd/2nd centuries BC. The part of the site occupied by the ring gullies may have gone out of use in the 1st century BC, to be overlain by an enclosure complex that included the existing trackway which was now defined by more substantial ditches. It is not clear that these late enclosures were occupied.A single gully was of Middle Bronze Age date and a few struck flints may be of Mesolithic, Neolithic or Bronze Age date. One pit also produced a radiocarbon date in the 8th/7th century BC suggesting that use of the site may have commenced earlier than suggested by the structural evidence. A few sherds of probable Saxon pottery point to a little activity of this period in the area. The economic evidence recovered was partial with no bone survival, but charred plant remains indicated a typical range of wheat and barley cultivation though there was little evidence for above- or below-ground storage. A little slag suggested small scale smithying on the site.
Occasional Paper 28: Archaeological Excavations on Sites of Bronze Age and Iron Age Occupation in Kent, 2014-2016
The five chapters in this volume detail archaeological excavations in advance of development on sites in Maidstone, Marden, Lenham, Iwade and Wrotham, in central and north-western Kent. All five of the sites revealed middle or later Bronze Age features, chiefly pit clusters At Orchard Farm, Iwade, late Iron Age occupation and a small cremation cemetery were also present.Each of the sites reported in this volume might be considered of only modest significance in itself, but in combination they add to what has until recently been a very patchy record of Bronze Age occupation in north-west Kent. Finds were generally not prolific, although Iwade yielded a fairly substantial pottery assemblage. Chronologies for the sites at Maidstone and Marden are supported by radiocarbon dates.
Occasional Paper 29: Earlier Neolithic Pits and Late Iron Age Settlement at Littleworth Road, Benson, Oxfordshire
housing development on the northern outskirts of Benson, close to the River Thames in Oxfordshire.The earliest finds were a cluster of four earlier Neolithic pits, two of which were radiocarbon dated to c. 3600–3500 cal BC. They contained a range of flint and pottery finds with charred hazelnut shells but no cereals, along with part of the skull of a child. The Bronze Age was represented by a single Middle Bronze Age pit and a scatter of residual pottery finds. The main findings dated to the Late Iron Age, when ditches were dug marking enclosures and other boundaries. A rich grave was located outside the enclosures: it (and the nearest enclosure ditch) contained a pottery assemblage with an unexpectedly rich imported (Gallo-Belgic) contribution. Cut features within the enclosures were surprisingly few, suggesting that the site may have functioned as a part of the animal husbandry regime and any more intensively occupied areas were located elsewhere. Unusually, the Late Iron Age settlement did not continue in use into early Roman times. A little Saxon pottery and a Medieval trackway were also recorded.
Occasional Paper 30: Archaeological Excavations on two Sites in Tetbury and Twekesbury, Gloucestershire, 2016-2017
This volume details the results of archaeological excavations in advance of development on sites at the northern and southern limits of Gloucestershire.At Bath Road, Tetbury, a small cluster of pits is probably of early Neolithic date, although the ceramic evidence is somewhat ambiguous. More securely dated is a large L-shaped ditch forming a partial enclosure, which contained Middle Bronze Age pottery and was filling in the third quarter of the 2nd millennium cal BC. A couple of pits also belong to the Middle Bronze Age. At Bredon Road, Tewkesbury, another group of poorly dated pits is probably Iron Age and associated with the burial of the very incomplete remains of an adult human, radiocarbon dated to the 4th or 3rd century BC. However, most of the features on this site are medieval, perhaps belonging within a relatively short span in the 13th century, and consist of a small ditched enclosure set within a larger, partly open enclosure, probably on, or just beyond, the edge of contemporary settlement.
Occasional Paper 31: Further Burials in the Guildown Saxon Cemetery at Guildford, Surrey
A small archaeological excavation explored a new area of the well-known Saxon cemetery, west of Guildford town centre, known as the Guildown 'execution cemetery'. Over 200 burials had been excavated in the early 20th centaury, and the cemetery was already regarded as unusual, yet the application of modern techniques of osteological and isotope analysis has added new components to this intriguing site. Seven graves were exposed, containing the remains of a minimum of 10 individuals. Two phases of burial have been identified, characterized by those displaying the expected furnished early medieval inhumations, and later, non-normative graves. Artefacts and radiocarbon dating indicate an extended period of use, spanning the 6th to 11th centuries AD. The majority of inhumations were buried in supine and extended positions. The exception to this was the unusual inclusion of a semi-disarticulated secondary burial (re burial) of an adult man into a double grave with a younger adult male. Additional in expected observations included the likely prior removal of two skeletons, possibly during previous investigations in the 1920s. Osteological analysis revealed the earliest graves contained a mixed group, including an adolescent and a woman. The later phase of burial comprised solely adult men. No evidence of execution was observed. Isotopic analysis of three men from the later graves suggests that they were not locals.
Occasional Paper 32: Iron Age and Early Roman Occupation and a Middle Iron Age Burial at Cheriton Road Sports Ground, Folkestone, Kent
This slim volume details the results of archaeological excavation in advance of development in Folkestone, on the south coast of Kent. The excavation revealed an extensive spread of occupation deposits, with some human burial, dating from the Late Bronze Age through to early Roman times. The earliest features were a single ditch and a possible cremation burial of Late Bronze Age date. The whole of the Iron Age extending into early Roman times seems to have been well represented. The Middle Iron Age dating is supported by a radiocarbon date of 365-164 cal BC. An inhumation burial associated with a second radiocarbon date of 428-353 cal BC was an unusual discovery for this period. A small collection of struck flint includes Mesolithic and possibly upper Palaeolithic material.The bulk of the site’s activity belongs to the late Iron Age and early Roman period with the creation of ditched field systems and enclosures. A number of pits resemble grain storage pits in profile, and the faunal remains from the site suggest that the settlement was largely self sufficient with cattle being raised into maturity whilst sheep were being consumed at an earlier age, which is a fairly typical pattern for the region. No evidence of any structures was found in the excavation area but it is possible that these were located outside of the excavation area. A modest collection of pottery suggests the site was already out of use by the end of the 1st century AD.
Occasional Paper 33:Two Iron Age Smelting Sites in Berkshire and North Hampshire, Archaeological Excavations on sites in Riseley and Reading
Two excavations, one in south Reading, Berkshire and a second in Riseley just over the Hampshire side of the county boundary, revealed sites predominantly of middle Iron Age date. The Riseley site was slightly more extensive, with two ring-gully structures and evidence for a small field system. Some re-use of the site also took place in early Roman times. The Reading site contained a Late Bronze Age roundhouse, Early Iron Age pit and a Roman ditch in addition to a single Middle Iron Age gully. The detailed chronology of both sites is supported by a series of radiocarbon dates.The unifying aspect of the two sites is that in the middle Iron Age, both were involved in small-scale iron smelting using phosphate-rich (bog) iron ore. These two excavations add to a corpus of similar sites now recorded for an area broadly south and south-east of Reading encompassing parts of north Hampshire and north-west Surrey. The corpus is well documented with radiocarbon-based chronology and detailed metallurgical analysis of the slag recovered. A final short chapter of the volume assesses the significance of these data in the wider context of the Origins, development and subsequent demise of an iron production 'industry' in this area in the Iron Age.
Occasional Paper 35: Later Neolithic Pits, a Bronze Age ring ditch and early Anglo-Saxon buildings at Braywick Park, Maidenhead, Berkshire
An open excavation revealed deposits that show a long but discontinuous use of the site from the later Neolithic through to the early Saxon period. Radiocarbon dates place a small cluster of pits containing Peterborough Ware pottery at the very start of the 3rd millennium BC. These are considered to represent rarely encountered occupation deposits of this period. More than a millennium later the site was used to construct one, possibly two ring ditches likely to represent now levelled Early Bronze Age burial mounds, though no burial deposits were revealed. The frequent presence of ring ditches on the gravel terraces of the Thames shows how densely used the valley was in the earlier part of the Bronze Age, despite meagre evidence for contemporary occupation sites. Finally, after another two millennia, the site was used for early Saxon occupation, in the form of six sunken-featured buildings and other features, which radiocarbon dating helped to show, were not all contemporary.
Monograph 1: Charnham Lane, Hungerford, Berkshire
The first volume in the series details the evidence of a long, if intermittent human exploitation of this floodplain landscape.Although a few Upper Palaeolithic/Early Mesolithic flints were found, the earliest securely dated features were later Mesolithic fire pits, which contained charred plant remains, suggesting they were used for cooking. Other concentrations of late Mesolithic flintwork came from surface collection, both on the floodplain and on a gravel ‘island’ rising above it. Early Bronze Age finds include three components: a pit circle, an adjacent occupation area, and detailed environmental evidence derived from a pollen sequence indicating, for example, that woodland clearance did not begin until the early Bronze Age. There is then a lengthy gap in the use of the area until a small settlement was created in Saxon times. Most of the structures and deposits on the site, however, were medieval. A bi-focal settlement seems to be indicated, most probably neighbouring farms, created in the 11th-12th centuries and lasting until an abandonment probably in the 14th century. Although finds of this period were not abundant, environmental evidence allows a reconstruction of a mixed farming economy.
Monograph 2: Prehistoric, Roman and Saxon Sites in Eastern Berkshire
Five excavations in eastern Berkshire are described in this report. At Horton, investigation of penannular cropmarks revealed a complex Neolithic monument with clearly structured deposition of numerous artefacts, overlain by a series of late Iron Age and Roman features. Work on a pipeline at Barkham Square turned up a late Bronze Age burnt mound, a rarity for southern England.Very ephemeral traces at Fairclough Farm, Bracknell turned out to be remains of a middle Iron Age settlement.At Bath Road, Slough, late Iron Age and Roman field systems and other features were very reminiscent of the finds of these periods from Horton. Finally, multi-period occupation at Waylands Nursey, Wraysbury, ranged from the late Bronze Age through the Roman period and into the early Saxon. All of these sites, despite their differences, attest in their own way to the intensive exploitation of this small part of the Thames Valley, over a long period.
Monograph 3: Excavations at Cippenham, Slough, Berkshire
Volume 3 explores a series of multi-period sites that cover an extensive landscape to the south of Slough, tracing development from the Neolithic to the Medieval period.A major housing development on the 'Cippenham Sector' at Slough provided opportunities for archaeological excavations on several sites. The remains uncovered span some 6000 years from the early Neolithic to the Post-medieval period and reveal the changing face of this Thames Valley landscape under almost constant human influence throughout this time.Earlier Neolithis evidence seems to relate mainly to domestic occupation, although the patterns of deposition suggest a ritual component. Later Neolithic activity is less abundant and less easily characterized but may also include ritual aspects. This theme continues into the Bronze Age, with a ring ditch and numerous cremation burials, both in a cemetery and also spread across the landscape. There is some evidence for occupation in the Middle Bronze Age, but more substantial occupation remains appear in the Later Bronze Age. From the Middle Iron Age until the middle Roman period, the area appears to have been more or less continuously farmed, with remarkable continuity through this span, when it is more usual to expect marked breaks in the rural landholding pattern. The landscape in this period was dominated by small individual farms. An apparent abandonment in the 3rd century AD led to a remodelling and a lessening of the intensity of all kinds of activity, eventually leading to a total lack of evidence from the 4th century into the Saxon period.By medieval times, occupation was concentrated in one small part of the area investigated. It is likely that by this time most of the land was included in Cippenham
Monograph 4: Bronze Age, Roman and Saxon sites on Shrubsoles Hill, Sheppey and at Wises Lane, Borden, Kent
Two excavations between 1999 and 2001 by TVAS shed light on the early development of the landscape on either side of the Swale in north Kent. On Shrubsloes Hill on the Isle of Sheppey, a Bronze Age landscape included a ring ditch (and presumably barrow), with associated cremation graves, a single linear ditch, and later a ditched enclosure and a flat cremation cemetery. The barrow was re-used when the site was occupied in the Saxon period.At Borden, near Sittingbourne, three phases of development of an agricultural landscape can all be dated in the 1st century AD, when a droveway was flanked by changing patterns of field systems. This site also held a contemporary cremation cemetery. The site is of interest as it shows essential continuity of landholding and farming practice through the years either side of the Roman conquest.
Monograph 5: The Archaeology of the Aylesbury-Chalgrove gas pipeline and the Orchard, Walton Road, Aylesbury
Investigations along the route of a new gas pipeline produced evidence of a variety of types of site spanning periods from the Bronze Age to the Saxon era. These included, in Buckinghamshire, an Iron Age site at Chilton Grove and a late Roman site at Peppershill Farm, and in Oxfordshire, a late Bronze Age site at Latchford, Iron Age and Saxon settlement at Rycote, and Iron Age and Roman sites at both Corrnwell Copse and Warpsgrove.At Walton Road in Aylesbury in the Middle Bronze Age at least four roundhouses occupied the site. A middle Saxon settlement consisted of at least eight post-built hall houses, one building using a foundation trench construction, and one sunken featured building (or grubenhaus).
Monograph 6: Iron Age and Roman settlement and landscape at Totterdown Lane, Horcott near Fairford, Gloucestershire
This part of the Upper Thames Valley is rapidly becoming one of the best-mapped areas of Roman Britain. Excavations at two quarry sites in Gloucestershire revealed a dynamic pattern of land-use and settlement extending from the middle Iron Age through the entire Roman period and into the early post-Roman era.In the middle Iron Age, the site was clearly a settlement area with two broadly contemporary clusters of round houses, metalworking activity and associated fields.The Roman evidence consisted mainly of ditched land divisions spanning the entire four centuries, and although there was no direct evidence for any settlement, there must have been one nearby. The remarkable density of features in this landscape shows an almost obsessive emphasis on the redefinition of boundaries, which contrasts with other recent large scale investigations in the area where a much more open landscape has often been revealed.
Monograph 7: Reading and Windsor: Old and New; Excavations 1995–2002
This volume presents the results of seven small excavations in the hearts of the modern towns of Reading, Old Windsor and New Windsor. Surprisingly little work has previously been published from these towns, other than the extensive work at Reading Abbey. We examine two sites on Friar Street in Reading and one on Castle Street, highlighting the medieval development of the town.In Windsor, evidence comes from three sites in the shadow of the great Norman Castle, one on High Street and two on Thames Street, exploring the changing medieval topography. From Old Windsor, we report on a post-medieval house at The Manor.A final section explores the major finds (pottery and animal bone) and gives an overview of archaeological evidence for several centuries of town life by the Thames in Berkshire.
Monograph 8: Excavations in Medieval Abingdon and Drayton, Oxfordshire
Two excavations on Ock Street, on the western side of Abingdon in Oxfordshire reveal fascinating details of medieval and early post-medieval tanning, leather working and horn processing, which apparently began on the north side of the street (75 Ock Street) in the 13th or 14th century and moved to the south side (on the site of the later Morlands Brewery) by the late 14th or early 15th century. These noxiously anti-social activities would have been located on the fringes of the town or even slightly outside it, but it appears that the proprietors made a good living from the business, as both sites were able to afford a certain amount of luxury, including imported pottery, while their workers appear to havr subsited on a diet that was more liquid than solid, presumably mainly beer (appropriate on a site that was later a brewery).Beyond Abingdon itself, this volume also examines a small area excavation at Abingdon Road in nearby Drayton, where a medieval field system of paddocks and droveways was successively altered from the 11th to the 14th century before being abandoned. This site provides a marked contrast to the sequence of continuous urban development seen in the town itself.
Monograph 9: Archaeological Investigations in the Silchester Hinterland
Silchester is one of the best-known and best-preserved Roman towns in Britain. A series of archaeological investigations conducted as part of the planning process has added to our knowledge of how the landscape around the site of the Roman town was used and developed.None of the archaeological sites reported here is remarkable by itself, nor are there abundant finds, nor any spectacular individual find to record, but the steady accumulation of evidence from many such small sites can transform the way entire landscapes are perceived. This has been facilitated by the consistent application of planning guidance to ensure archaeological sites are recorded in advance of development, and planning policy is now a crucial tool in archaeological research. The investigations reported in this volume include: two fieldwalking surveys, of the Loddon valley and the area immediately around Silchester itself; excavations including an Iron Age iron smelting site at Arborfield a Roman cremation cemetery and medieval building at Mortimer; a medieval oven also at Mortimer; late Iron Age to Roman enclosure at Little London Road, Silchester; results from a watching brief along a pipe-line around the southe of the study area, with important finds from Latchmere Green and elsewhere; and finally an evaluation which produced the first evidence for Late Bronze Age/Ealry Iron Age exploitation of the Silchester area. These sites can be better appreciated in conjunction with work reported in TVAS Monograph 13, which takes us north to Reading; and Monograph 12, which explores an area towards Thatcham and Newbury. These volumes taken together provide a long-term view of a wide tract of landscape within a day's journey of the Roman town. A4 soft cover, 164pp, illustrated throughout including 9 colour plates ISBN 978-0-9544006-8-2 Price: £15.00
Monograph 10: Archaeological Investigations in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, 1992-2010
The role of the planning system in archaeological research Wallingford, on the River Thames in south Oxfordshire, is one of the country's best-preserved medieval towns, with origins as a late Saxon burh. It retains its medieval street plan to a remarkable degree, and substantial remains of the Saxon defences and Norman Castle survive.Yet there is much still to learn about this historic town. Numerous small archaeological investigations initiated as a result of planning legislation are showing how even apparently disconnected pieces of work can add important evidence on the layout and development of the town.This volume in the TVAS Monograph Series brings together the results from almost two decades of investigation at more than a dozen small sites, none of which by itself is especially remarkable, but which produce new insights when combined. They also demonstrate how the requirements of the town planning process can effectively direct research, and amount to a local success story. These results should be viewed as complementary to the research-driven investigations of the academic and community-led Burh to Borough Project currently running in the town.
Monograph 11: Archaeological Investigations in Surrey, 1997-2009
This volume reports the results of archaeological investigations in advance of development at eight sites in Surrey; in Merstham, Burgh Heath and Staines, two in Egham and three in Guildford. At Battlebridge Lane in Merstham, we find a late Iron Age to early Roman settlement enclosure, along with some prehistoric and Saxon evidence. At Chapel Way, Burgh Heath, provides a probably Iron Age ring gully, along with Roman and medieval features. A very large area examined at Manor Park, Guildford, revealed evidence for intermittent occupation spanning the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman periods and medieval settlement near the moated manor house. Moor Lane Staines offers Saxon and medieval occupation.Samples of Saxon pottery have been thin-sectioned and chemically analysed, and radiocarbon dated as a baseline for future work. Two sites on the High Street in Egham produced limited evidence for prehistoric activity but more significant medieval remains including a pottery kiln. Similarly, two sites on the High Street in Guildford yielded 12th- and 13th-century occupation evidence, in both cases followed by a blank period before 17th century re-occupation, with interesting insights into the diet of that period.
Monograph 12: Archaeological Investigations along the line of Ermin Street in West Berkshire, 1992-2008
Thatcham has seen sporadic, small-scale archaeological investigations since the early years of the 20th century. Recent work, reported in this volume, has added significantly to our understanding of the early development of settlement here. This monograph presents the results of small excavations at Turnpike School, at several locations on Bath Road, and at Church Gate, and summarises results of smaller watching briefs and evaluation trenching exercises.Among the prehistoric finds at the former Turnpike School, Newbury, there is rare evidence for late Neolithic occupation, including the skull of an aurochs, the huge ancestor of modern cattle. A late Bronze Age burnt mound shows occupation in that period too. On Bath Road, several minor invstigations have confirmed the presence (in places) of the Roman road from Silchester to Cirencester, and showed occupation from the 2nd century AD to the 4th, stretching along the road for at least a kilometre. Similar evidence is also explored on the far side of Newbury, at Wickham House. Early to Middle Saxon pottery has also been recovered, although this provides only ambiguous evidence for occupation at this time. Finally, the site at Church Gate shows medieval evidence of land boundary ditches from the 12th and 13th centuries.
Monograph 13: Archaeological Investigations to the south of Reading, 2002-2008
A series of archaeological investigations conducted as part of the planning process has added to our knowledge of Roman settlement and landscape exploitation in an area south of modern Reading, Berkshire. None of the archaeological sites reported here are remarkable in themselves, nor are there abundant finds, nor any spectacular individual objects to record, but the steady accumulation of evidence from many such small sites can transform the way such areas are perceived. These sites, in particular, which all lie less than a day's journey from Silchester, provide a valuable contribution to an understanding of the nature and development of the hinterland of the Iron Age and Roman town.The five sites reported in this volume include: a Roman occupation site and landscape management at Three Mile Cross; a very similar late Iron Age/early Roman settlement and landscape in south Reading, and at two smaller sites in Shinfield; while a final short paper reports on a Bronze Age pit and Iron Age 'currency bar' hoard from south Reading.
Monograph 14: Settlement and Landscape Archaeology in the Middle Thames Valley: Slough and Environs
This volume presents the results of archaeological excavations on five sites in and around Slough, all undertaken under the provisions of town planning legislation. On two sites to the west of Slough at Cippenham, evidence was uncovered of sporadic land use from the Neolithic period onwards, which complements the results of earlier work in this area (see TVAS Monograph 3). Medieval occupation in this area seems to have been abandoned unusually early (in the 12th or early 13th century) perhaps as a result of emparkment for a known 13th-century deer park.North-east of Slough, sites at Wexham (one in Berkshire, the other just across the county border in Buckinghamshire), again provide evidence for multiple periods of use, including Iron Age and Saxon settlement at Wexham Road, and Bronze Age and most notably extensive Roman settlement at All Souls Farm quarry. Finally, also in Buckinghamshire, Bronze Age settlement was revealed at Beaconsfield, by one of the first large area excavations in this part of the county. The results from all of the sites are backed by a programme of radiocarbon dating.
Monograph 15: Bronze Age and Roman settlement, with Neolithic and Saxon burials, at Itchen Farm, Winchester, Hampshire
Excavations just south of Winchester uncovered evidence for a long sequence of use of the site. A number of pits and a single child's burial are radiocarbon dated to the early Neolithic period. The child burial is one of a very small number of such burials known from that era. During the Bronze Age, a post-built roundhouse occupied the site.The main focus of the evidence derives from a series of ditched enclosures defined, re-modelled, and re-defined between the late Iron Age and late Roman periods. This sequence seems unlikely to have started much before the Claudian conquest, and the site was abandoned by around the middle of the 4th century, the latest features probably representing deliberate dismantling and clearance of the occupation. There are neither structural remains nor, until the end of the period, pits for storage or refuse, but finds are present in such quantity in the ditches that the site must have been occupied at least in the early and late phases; there is a marked decrease in finds in the middle of the Roman period. This site produced important evidence for the economy of the Roman settlement, which included textile production. A single grave seems to be the latest Roman feature on the site. Finally, two graves contained Roman finds but are firmly dated by radiocarbon to early Saxon times, probably contemporary within the early 7th century. No other Saxon material was recovered from anywhere on the site and it is unlikely that there is any possibility of continuity over the centuries between the last Roman use and these interments.
Monograph 16: Iron Age Iron Production Sites in Berkshire
The archaeological record for the Iron Age has been surprisingly short on iron - use of objects made of iron is rather limited, and there are remarkably few known production sites. Recent excavations in Berkshire, backed by a programme of radiocarbon dating, have begun to change that. At Sindlesham, a buried dump of slag consisted of what seems to be the largest quantity of Iron Age iron slag so far recorded in the country, associated with a series of simple pit furnaces for smelting, charcoal clamps and ore roasting pits, and provided a series of radiocarbon dates spanning the early and middle Iron Age, with evidence of unexpected re-use of the site in the Saxon period.At Three Mile Cross, near Reading, iron production covering a similar date range was on a much smaller scale; coincidentally also with Saxon re-use. A third small site at Finchampstead also produced a single middle Iron Age furnace used for iron smelting. Analysis of the slags reveals that the raw material source was probably bog ore, low grade ore but widely available, so that the locations of production sites seem to have been more dependent on a fuel source (wood for charcoal) than on the ores themselves.
Monograph 17: The Oxford Henge and Late Saxon Massacre; with Medieval and Later Occupation at St John's College, Oxford
Excavations at St John’s College in the heart of Oxford have dramatically altered our view of the prehistoric landscape, provided striking evidence of a massacre dating to around AD 1000, and shed light on the later occupation of the site: a suburb in the medieval period and later a farm.The earliest feature was a massive ditch interpreted as part of a henge. Its diameter of just over 150m places it in the monumental class, of which only around 20 are known in Britain. These large henges are often the focus of a wider ritual landscape. The chronology of the henge can be traced from its construction at the end of the late Neolithic, up to the time when it disappeared as a major feature in the landscape in early medieval times. Of particular significance is the discovery of at least 35 human skeletons, tumbled together into the depression left by the henge ditch. All were adult males, except two adolescents, all had met a violent death, many having been mutilated besides, and some partially burned. The evidence points towards these men being Danish victims of King Aethelred’s decree ordering their extermination in AD1002.
Monograph 18: Neolithic, Roman and Saxon Settlement at Arlington Way, Thetford, Norfolk
This volume presents the results of archaeological excavations at Arlington Way, Thetford, which revealed a complex landscape, used and occupied over a considerable time during the Roman and Saxon periods. The findings provide an extension of the wider topography of the Roman and Saxon settlement previously revealed to the south at Melford Meadows where they occupied a terrace ridge above the flood plain of the river Thet.The Roman element of the site comprised both post-built and beam-slot structures together with ditched divisions of the landscape. This is considered to be a low status farmstead which was occupied from the late 1st century until the end of the 4th century.The early Saxon occupation began in the 5th century and appears to have continued until the late 6th or 7th century. The main focus of the occupation at this time appears to have been to the south of the Roman site at Melford Meadows, and only a low density of features of this period was recorded at the Arlington Way site.
Monograph 19: Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman Landscapes of the Coastal Plain, and a Late Iron Age Warrior Burial at North Bersted, West Sussex
This volume details the open area excavation that took place across nine separate areas at North Bersted. The fieldwork revealed artefacts and features spanning the Upper Palaeolithic through to the Defence of Britain in the mid-1940s, although the principal periods represented were of later Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman date. A smaller volume of Neolithic and medieval deposits were encountered.The earlier periods were represented by discrete occupation zones - isolated pits, roundhouses, burnt mounds, isolated burials and some enclosure but with little evidence for the development of an enclosed landscape of field systems. This changed with the onset of the Middle Iron Age and continuing into the Roman period when most of the excavated areas (and beyond) had been enclosed with a complex of field boundaries and enclosures with further development through time. Study of the settlement of this area was enhanced by a radiocarbon-dated palynological analysis of peat and alluvium deposits that infilled the valley of a small stream.Perhaps the most notable finding of the excavation was the grave of a late Iron Age warrior prince or priest who may have been raised in southern Europe, may have fought with the Roman army, and was buried with sword, scabbard, spear, shield, other grave goods including most remarkably, elaborate ceremonial headwear.
Monograph 20: Archaeological Excavations at Roundhouse Farm, Marston Meysey, Wiltshire
This report documents a large area excavation covering some 25ha of gravel terrace in the Upper Thames Valley of north Wiltshire. The excavations have revealed a wide range of evidence for human activity with occupation sites, funerary sites, ceremonial sites and organised landscapes dating from the later Neolithic through to mid Roman times and again from the medieval period to the present.Deposits of earlier prehistoric periods are not prolific but are represented by isolated pits, and burial but including a post-circle ceremonial monument. The later Bronze Age is better represented, with extensive areas of unenclosed settlement with post-built roundhouses and other structures present. The archaeological record intensified and diversified with the onset of the Iron Age, with several foci of occupation accompanied by small and large enclosures. The intensity and nature of landuse regressed after the middle Iron Age, due in part, perhaps, to the impact of a rising water table. The land was still demonstrably used with the reuse of several Iron Age boundaries and the creation of new fields and boundaries in Latest Iron Age/early Roman times but now without the presence of occupation areas. Maintenance or use of the landscape appears to have ceased before the end of the Roman period though there is some evidence to suggest some originally Iron Age boundaries continued to exist to be incorporated into a small medieval agricultural enclosure. Subsequent use of the site after the medieval period was for large rectilinear enclosed fields, subject to change, with only a proportion of the boundaries recorded on early maps. The field patterns were extensively disrupted with construction of the Thames and Severn Canal in 1787.
Monograph 21: An Iron Age Round House and Roman Villa at Chilton Fields, Oxfordshire
This report documents an area excavation covering some 2ha which was undertaken on the lower chalk plain north of the Berkshire Downs, now in south Oxfordshire. The excavations have revealed the full ground plan of a modest Roman villa along with a significant proportion of surrounding landscape features. Use of the site for a villa complex was preceded by a small amount of Bronze Age pit digging followed by a Middle Iron Age round house dating from 382–204 Cal BC, coincidentally located beneath the later villa. Four burials are also attributed to this Iron Age phase of use. After a clear break in the sequence of occupation, a stone-footed building was constructed in the later 2nd century AD and was subsequently modified and extended including construction of a veranda, into the 4th century AD. Ancillary structures include a well, a bathhouse, corn driers, and various other post-built structures as well as paddocks and enclosures beyond.The building had gone out of use by the end of the 4th century AD but occupation may have continued with little or no break into Saxon times. No artefacts certainly of early Saxon date were recovered but two structures were typical of sunken floored buildings and pottery recovered from them included the latest 4th century types. The site was abandoned and forgotten from early in the Saxon period, presumably reverting back to agricultural use. The final activity on the site took place in the early post-medieval period with the digging of a small number of pits and the construction of a metalled trackway.
Monograph 22: Roman Occupation at Chapel Farm, Blunsden, Swindon, Wiltshire (Lower Widhill Farm)
Archaeological excavations just north of Swindon in Wiltshire over several years uncovered an almost continuous landscape of around 7ha, occupied mainly in the 1st to 3rd centuries AD. The results of work by both Oxford Archaeology and Thames Valley Archaeological Services are presented in this volume.The earliest features were scattered pits of possible Bronze Age date but occupation begins in the late Iron Age (early 1st century AD), then shifts north-east and intensifies in the late 1st century AD and into the 2nd. Occupation centred on a large empty enclosed space, around which smaller enclosures were arranged, some of which may have been stock pens, while others were occupied, with relatively minor modifications over time. Finds described include substantial groups of pottery and metalwork, but only smaller assemblages of other materials.The entire enclosure complex seems to have fallen out of use in the 4th century and maybe before, with late Roman finds very scarce, reinforcing the view that few Roman rural sites endured throughout the period.What is interpreted as Saxon occupation is represented by a group of three post-built houses, and a sunken-featured building, but although Saxon pottery was recovered from several fatures, dating evidence for the buildings themselves was scant and they are phased largely on the basis of form.
Monograph 23: Archaeological excavations at Latton Quarry, Wiltshire
This report documents the archaeological examination of a large (18ha) parcel of land which was formerly a Scheduled Monument, and lies adjacent to a large cropmark enclosure complex. The fieldwork investigated a wide range of deposits, with early Neolithic, middle Bronze Age, early and middle Iron Age and early Anglo-Saxon occupation being revealed, along with Iron Age, Roman and Medieval land division. The early Neolithic is represented by just two pits. The middle Bronze Age is represented by an enclosure, which is infrequently recorded for this period in this region. The early Iron Age occupation consists of dispersed settlement including groups of post-built roundhouses. The middle Iron Age is represented by a single ring gully roundhouse, a typical form for the region, which may be on the edge of a larger settlement to the south.Occupation then ceased and the site appears to have been used only as farmland, with just a few middle to late Roman boundary ditches, producing very little pottery. This continued until early Anglo-Saxon occupation in the form of a post-built hall, with a second activity focus represented by an unusual dispersed group of pits. The Anglo-Saxon occupation is notable in that it dates from a time and place at the limits of Anglo-Saxon expansion along the Upper Thames Valley in what was still a frontier zone.
Monograph 24: Bronze Age, Saxon and Medieval Evidence from Wantage, Oxfordshire: Excavations at St Mary’s and St Gabriel’s Schools
Archaeological excavations close to the modern town centre of Wantage revealed a dense complex of mostly medieval features on two large parcels of land, thought to lie within the town as it was in late medieval times. The continuous occupation sequence, however, commenced in the late Saxon period with the construction of a circular or oval enclosure, various small enclosures, pens, buildings, workshops and other features and a substantial boundary ditch to the south. Finds include pottery suggesting a high status centre, supporting the view of Wantage as a Saxon royal estate. Medieval activity expanded in the 11th century with further redefinition and reorganisation which continued until the 13th or 14th century when all this activity ceased. Subsequent use of the sites was light, expect for re-cutting of the boundary ditch well into the 16th century.The earliest finds and features were of prehistoric date with a few struck flints of Mesolithic and later date, but notably an urned cremation cemetery of Middle Bronze Age date with one urned burial radiocarbon dated to 1403-1268 BC. Early and Middle Saxon finds and deposits were few but included an inhumation burial dated to AD 775-887. Yet the range of pottery included high status vessels and whilst the focus of a contemporary settlement has not yet been revealed it is possible that the villa regia documented by AD849 lies close by. Finally, the area was orchard and fields in the 18th and 19th centuries
Monograph 25: Neolithic, Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon Occupation and Bronze Age Burial at Ibsley Quarry, Ibsley, Ringwood, Hampshire
Excavation in advance of mineral extraction located on the eastern terrace of the river Avon at Ibsley, north of Ringwood, revealed a wide range of sites and finds. Two episodes dominated the cut deposits examined namely those in the Bronze Age and Roman periods. The site appears to have been in use for the whole of the Bronze Age, with the earlier Bronze Age represented by four ring ditches (the remains of levelled barrows) and a few pits. One of the ring ditches was revisited for use in the middle Bronze Age as an urnfield (cremation cemetery). A probable middle Bronze Age roundhouse and a few pits were superseded by much more intensive later Bronze Age occupation in the form of roundhouses, four-post structures (granaries?), pits and a fence. A notable feature of the middle Bronze Age was the finding of a small hoard of two bronze palstaves and an armlet.Little is known of what might have happened on the site in the Iron Age, although it was perhaps then that the barrows were levelled (ploughed out). In the Roman period, the site became a farmstead surrounded by an organized landscape of paddocks and fields, with a stone-lined well, although any buildings seem to have been outside the area excavated. Other periods were represented by small numbers of cut features, with earlier Neolithic pits containing plain ware and Ebbsfleet ware pottery, a possible late Neolithic pit circle, and an early Anglo-Saxon sunken-floored building. The Mesolithic period was represented by flintwork and the later medieval period, surprisingly, only by a hammered silver coin and a belt buckle. The fieldwork here complements the findings of earlier phases of investigation at the quarry to the east which led to the excavation of three Early Bronze Age ring ditches in 2001.
Monograph 26: Two Iron Age Occupation Sites on Andover Road and Cromwell Road in Winchester
This volume reports on two archaeological excavations in Winchester, one well to the north, and the other well to the south, of both the Roman town and the known Iron Age enclosure at Oram’s Arbour. Hampshire’s Iron Age provides a mixture of enclosed and unenclosed settlements, and enclosures which apparently bound no settlement.At Andover Road, occupation began in the later part of the Middle Iron Age, and continued into the Late Iron Age and very early Roman period. Nothing here need be later than the 1st century AD. The site is dominated by a large enclosure ditch, recut several times, and smaller enclosures laid out from it. Within and around these enclosures are numerous pits, while postbuilt structures must also be present but have proved elusive to trace. It had been expected that the site would reveal the continuation of an Iron Age settlement located in excavations to the north, and so it proved. One particularly striking aspect of the site lies in the patterns of deposition of human and articulated animal bone. Radiocarbon dating supports the site’s chronology, which is based on a secure stratified sequence. At Cromwel Road, multi-period occupation was represented by several hundred pits and a ring gully, likely a roundhouse. Pottery and two radiocarbon dates helped to phase the occupation which dates mainly to the Iron Age. The full extent of the site was not determined and it is not known if it was open or enclosed, or indeed part of a larger settlement. The large number of pits recorded relative to just a single dwelling, suggests that Cromwell Road may represent part of a larger and longer-lived settlement, yet to be discovered.
Monograph 27: A Bronze Age Ring Ditch and Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Story's Meadow, Marland Land, West Meon, Hampshire
A levelled Bronze Age round barrow was fully excavated to reveal its use as a cemetery in both the Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon periods. A central cremation burial of an unsexed adult placed in a Collared Urn was dated to 1911–1739 cal BC and is likely to date the first construction of the monument, with an inhumation burial of a young child dated to 1541–1402 cal BC placed just above the primary fills of the ring ditch providing a terminus ante quem date. Flint nodules recovered during the ditch digging were used as a source of struck flint.Later prehistoric and Roman ploughing close to the barrow led to the infill of the upper fills of the ditch but the mound must have survived for it subsequently to be selected as the focus for a large Anglo-Saxon cemetery, with at least 49 inhumation burials (roughly equal numbers of adults and non-adults, the adults also roughly evenly split between women and men) and a single Anglo-Saxon urned cremation burial of an unsexed adult also present. Nine radiocarbon dates indicate a predominantly 6th–7th century AD date. The cemetery’s limits to south and west seem to have been defined but it may have extended further north or east; any eastwards extension will have been lost to the modern road but there is every chance that more burials could survive to the north. A unexpected concentration of unusual skeletal pathologies was observed, including three burials of individuals who had survived trepanning, including one adolescent with leukemia; and a woman who died whilst pregnant. This may tentatively indicate that an Anglo-Saxon medical ‘specialist’ operated in the local area. Stable isotope studies indicate a non-marine diet for the population
Monograph 28: Roman Enclosure and Early Anglo-Saxon Occupation at Top Road, Kempsford, Gloucestershire
This volume describes the results of an archaeological excavation carried out in advance of development at Kempsford on the north bank of the River Thames in Gloucestershire. Cropmarks visible in aerial photographs, and a geophysical survey, suggested the site contained Iron Age or Roman enclosures and occupation, and evaluation trenching confirmed that these were indeed present, along with some Anglo-Saxon pottery.The excavation revealed the expected enclosed settlement, repeatedly remodelled from the Late Iron Age into later Roman times. Burials were also present, mainly from the later Roman period. The later end of the radiocarbon dating ranges could allow two of the burials to be 5th-century Anglo-Saxon rather than late Roman. Anglo-Saxon occupation with at least six sunken-floored buildings and a post-built hall, was more unexpected. Faunal and botanical remains allowed the agricultural economy of the site to be examined and isotope analysis of the burials indicated a typical terrestrial diet albeit distinctive compared to other Roman sites. A programme of radiocarbon dating on food residues taken from Anglo-Saxon pottery revealed that the settlement was of two phases spanning the early 5th and 6th centuries but with the possibility that occupation had commenced in the late 4th century or very early 5th. This is noteworthy for a site so far up river from the Thames Estuary as it suggests this process may have been underway before the traditional end of the Roman period in AD410.
Monograph 29: The Southern Cemetery of Roman Dorchester-on-Thames; With Evidence for Roman and Medieval Settlement
Archaeological excavations and watching briefs in the historic town of Dorchester-on-Thames in Oxfordshire have brought to light substantial new evidence for a cemetery just beyond the southern limit of the Roman town. So far, over 60 burials have been recorded and there may be at least as many more still to discover. Where datable, all appear to be late Roman. The area of the cemetery had been in domestic use in the earlier Roman period (1st to 2nd centuries AD) before the change of use to a burial ground, probably beginning in the 4th century, but possibly earlier, as two phases are represented stratigraphically. There was later, an early Saxon building on the site. Detailed osteological analysis sheds fascinating light on the lifestyle (and ailments) of Dorchester’s Roman inhabitants and suggests close genetic links amongst at least a portion of the buried population, while stable isotope analysis, on the other hand, suggests two markedly different dietary regimes.On the High Street, just outside the northern line of Roman defences, further evidence of early Roman occupation was recovered, again replaced in the later period by burials (although only five on this site), and in this case, the area was later used for medieval occupation (backlands). This excavation sheds light on the topography of the Roman and medieval town, particularly the extra-mural Roman occupation, and hints at intensive medieval activity behind houses fronting High Street. Although the earliest phase on the site has mostly been lost to later truncation, it appears to pre-date the Roman defences (c. AD260) implying that part of the settlement, and possibly quite a densely settled area, was excluded from this protection.
Monograph 30: Archaeological investigations At Nea Farm, Somerley, Ringwood, hampshire, 1993-2011
A long-running series of archaeological excavations spanning nearly two decadesb has been carried out in advance of mineral extraction on a 65ha quarry site at Nea Farm, Somerley on the plateau fringing the Avon Valley near Ringwood, Hampshire. Trial trenching and fieldwalking covered most of this area, and eventually almost 26ha were opened for excavation. For such a large area, it was perhaps inevitable that a wide range of sites and finds would be recorded. The important Upper Palaeolithic site has already been published separately, this volume takes up tracing the development of the site in later prehistoric periods when a Mesolithic flint scatter, and small numbers of pits of Earlier Neolithicand Bronze Age date make up the earliest evidence.Subsequently, a middle Iron Age settlement was located on the plateau edge overlooking the valley. This prospered and continued in use into early Roman times, with farming of the plateau to the rear organized within a series of formal boundaries. After a short period of abandonment the same location was reused up to the end of Roman times. There was no evidence for sub-Roman or Saxon use of the explored areas. A manor of Somerley was first documented in AD1272, but the fieldwork here explored a part of the manorial complex dating from the 11th century, including four timber buildings. The volume presents reports on fairly substantial assemblages of pottery, worked flint and fired clay (including kiln/furnace structures), and smaller quantities of other finds and environmental evidence, along with the results of a programme of radiocarbon dating.
Monograph 31: Medieval Occupation and a 17th-Century Tobacco Pipe Kiln at 22 to 26 Spital Street, Dartford, Kent
Excavation in advance of commercial development in the heart of Dartford provided evidence for several periods of the site’s development. The earliest evidence was Roman: a ditch and a pit, together with residual pottery and coins in later features. The post-Roman occupation begins from the 13th century leading to unbroken use of the site through to the present. The 13th-century use comprised dark earth deposits and three cut features. It was from the mid/late 13th century to late 14th century that occupation began in earnest with the construction of two masonry buildings, one substantial and the other smaller. Both survived as chalk and flint foundations together with chalk and beaten-earth floors. Two stacked-tile hearths in the southern part of the site suggest the presence of another structure. The buildings continued in use into the early-mid 15th century, with internal alterations.In the mid-late 15th century another building of chalk and flint was constructed close to the frontage of Spital Street, which housed ovens and hearths. In the late 15th or 16th century this building was superseded by another stone-built (or stone-footed) building. In the 17th century, the nature of the site changed, and a clay pipe kiln was housed in another stone building, providing evidence for the earliest such manufactory from the town.
Monograph 32: Bronze Age, Roman and Saxon Burials and Occupation on Land to the West of The Lea, Denham, Buckinghamshire
A long-running programme of archaeological excavation in advance of quarrying has examined an area of some 11 hectares at The Lea. It has revealed prehistoric (likely early or middle Bronze Age) ring ditches (ploughed out barrows) which remained focal points in the landscape into Roman and indeed Saxon times, when a mixed-rite cemetery was laid out around them.A field system of middle Bronze Age date was marked by ditches and gullies which formed a rectilinear arrangement of small fields and/or paddocks. It is likely this was also still in use in the later prehistoric period when a roundhouse was constructed. There was then a long hiatus until the site was re-occupied in the Roman period. Early Roman activity included a field system, with the middle Roman sub-phase represented by enclosures and another field system. Late Roman features include enclosures and boundary ditches. One of the enclosures contained a well, an oven and corn-driers. The main focus of the report is on the cemetery which contained pyre sites, inhumations and rare bustum cremation burials. This combination is highly unusual. This cemetery continued in use into the early Saxon period. Another burial, set well apart from the cemetery, in an unusually large grave, was richly furnished with jewellery. Medieval and post-medieval activity included field ditches and a post-medieval trackway. The site produced substantial assemblages of prehistoric and Roman pottery, and Roman brick and tile and metalwork, but unfortunately bone survival was very poor. The chronology is supported by eight radiocarbon dates.