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Strip Map and Sample excavation and Watching Brief at Bishops Sutton

Gorniak, Mariusz Strip Map and Sample excavation and Watching Brief at Bishops Sutton. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Oxford Archaeology (OA) was commissioned by URS Infrastructure & Environment UK Ltd (URS) to carry out the archaeological mitigation during the construction of a photovoltaic array at Bishops Sutton, Alresford (centred on NGR SSU 5146 1950). The general approach to excavation was a mixture of strip, map and sample hand excavation followed by archaeological watching brief. The work was carried out in January and February 2014. Forty one archaeological features were found within the main cable trench and the areas excavated for three adjacent substations and eight inverters. The cable trench ran north across the southern and central fields, and then east along the northern boundary of the central field, before continuing north along the east edge of the northern field and west along its northern boundary to the edge of the site. At the north-eastern edge of the central field the trench was diverted to avoid a protected archaeological zone, where cropmarks and a geophysical survey had indicated a pair of conjoined ditched enclosures, believed to be Iron Age, and two probable Bronze Age ring-ditches. In total 41 archaeological features were exposed, excavated and recorded, though none produced any finds. The larger features were ditches or pits, some of considerable size, but there were also two large postholes and (in the southern field) two groups of smaller postholes forming slightly curved rows, which could have belonged to one very large structure. Watching brief monitored a trench west of and parallel to the main cable trench south-north through Fields 1 and 2, cable trenches linking the solar arrays to the inverters, a cable trench for CCTV monitors around the edges of much of Fields I and 2, and an access road to the substations along the north edge of Field 3. This revealed another six features. The majority of the exposed features were found within the central field. A number of the excavated archaeological features in the central and the northern fields corresponded in plan with linear anomalies recorded by the geophysical survey, though some of these had been interpreted as of geological or recent origin. This showed that there was a more extensive field system present, probably belonging to the adjacent settlement. The discrete features had mostly not been picked up by the geophysical survey, but were probably associated pits. Not all of the linear features indicated by the geophysical survey that were crossed by the cable trenches were confirmed as archaeological features. Excavations in the southern field revealed that some of the broad linear features were indeed lynchets. The only archaeological finds were worked flint flakes and debitage fragments of late Neolithic-early Bronze Age date from the northern field, and one piece of medieval tile. All were recorded in colluvial deposits rather than in excavated features. The flints probably derive from activity related to the ring-ditches upslope to the south-west. The tile fragment may suggest that some of the ditches were of medieval date. One of the features crossed by the cable trench was a ditch parallel to the linked enclosures. Surface finds show that the enclosures were probably in use during the Roman period, although the absence of finds from the features might suggest a prehistoric, rather than a Roman or medieval, origin for the enclosures. The pits found at some distance from the enclosures, again without finds, are likely to have had agricultural functions.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Hampshire
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC
ID Code:1854
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:03 Sep 2014 07:23
Last Modified:03 Sep 2014 07:23

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