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Neolithic and Middle Iron Age to Early Roman Settlement at Low Park Corner, Chippenham, Cambridgeshire.

Atkins, Robert (2009) Neolithic and Middle Iron Age to Early Roman Settlement at Low Park Corner, Chippenham, Cambridgeshire. Project Report. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Between the 6th and 15th January 2009 OA East conducted an archaeological evaluation on land at Low Park corner, Chippenham, Cambridgeshire in advance of the construction of four agricultural buildings, an area of hard standing, a new access road, one dwelling, associated services and landscaping. Twenty-eight trenches were excavated. The trenches were targeted, in the main, over features identified in the geophysical survey (Masters 2009). The site was on land between 16m and 20.5m AOD. There was a former stream, the Lee brook, which meandered roughly north to south along the eastern boundary of the site and this stream had a small associated flood plain. About half of the site comprised a gentle east facing slope to this stream. Directly to the north of the development area, the former Street Way, a prehistoric routeway, ran north-east to south-west. The archaeology found in the evaluation comprised two main phases. Firstly, in the Neolithic and Bronze Age remains comprised several different components. Firstly there were two burials c.45m apart in the central western part of the site. 1) A Neolithic neonate inhumation burial and 2) an Early Bronze Age cremation of an infant. Neither the inhumation burial or cremation were seemingly buried within a mound and they were found at 0.4m and c.0.35m below the present ground level respectively. The small amount of bone and pottery found within the two burials may be important showing a deliberate policy of placing a token deposit. There were also features and layers related to occupation although sporadic and not permanent. This consisted of several buried soil layers found across the site. Within these layers, flint, pottery and other artefacts were recovered including an egg-shaped clay object. There were also a few pits found dating to the Neolithic period and a probable fire within the southern central part of the site. The relatively large numbers of worked flint including cores and flakes found across the site show this site was well used with knapping and other activities. The second main archaeological phase was a linear Middle Iron Age to Early Roman settlement found across the site parallel to the former Lee brook. This settlement started around the 4th or 3rd century BC and this may have been sporadic occupied at first and seems to have been largely represented by pits with no definite enclosures dating to this phase. In the Late Iron Age from c.100BC to Early Roman period (middle 2nd century AD) there was far more evidence for occupation with a total of two probable ring gullies and post holes in four trenches over a 250m distance along the middle part of the site. The main occupation ran in a linear north to south direction for 400m and was c.150 wide. Fields ran off from this main occupation area to the west. There was widespread evidence for major iron working on the site in both the Late Iron Age and Early Roman periods with possible bog ore being extracted Soil samples imply that there were some cereal crops including wheat being grown in the area and the widespread cattle bones imply a variety of animals being raised. Artefacts including two Early Roman brooches and some pottery imports imply the settlement was of average or above average wealth.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
ID Code:1932
Deposited By: Chris Faine
Deposited On:05 Sep 2014 13:51
Last Modified:05 Sep 2014 13:51

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