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An Iron Age Settlement at Land North of Hare Street Road, Buntingford, Hertfordshire

Clarke, Graeme (2016) An Iron Age Settlement at Land North of Hare Street Road, Buntingford, Hertfordshire. Project Report. Oxford Archaeology Ltd., Bar Hill. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Between the 29th September and 11th November 2014 Oxford Archaeology East (OA East) carried out excavations at Land North of Hare Street, Buntingford, Hertfordshire (TL 3678 2958). The excavation initially comprised two areas, each targeting a ditched enclosure revealed during a geophysical survey of the area carried out by Archaeological Services WYAS during a previous phase of work in 2012. An additional archaeological evaluation was carried out prior to the excavation to establish the presence/absence of archaeological features in areas of the site not previously covered by an evaluation by Northamptonshire Archaeology in 2012, that had targeted the enclosures identified by the geophysical survey. Significant Iron Age and Roman archaeological remains were encountered by the evaluation trenching in the southwestern corner of the site, in a parcel of land previously used as allotment gardens. Consequently an additional third area of excavation encompassing these remains was agreed upon. Furthermore, upon the completion of the excavation a programme of archaeological monitoring was undertaken between the 8th June and 14th July 2015 during the excavation of an attenuation pond in the western part of the site. Middle Neolithic remains, including decorated pottery sherds and worked flint flakes, were encountered in two pits at the base of a dry valley and in a palaeochannel running through the site. The pits probably represent a rare example of flint quarrying and primary working of flint nodules recovered from the palaeochannel. A major discovery of the excavation was the identification of settlement remains, including roundhouses, with an associated system of land division and enclosure originating in the Middle Iron Age and evolving through the Late Iron Age into the Latest Iron Age and Early Roman periods. A number of four-post structures, that may have served as animal feed stores, were present within the main enclosure. Late Iron Age remains within this, and further enclosures that appear to respect the Middle Iron Age features, indicate continuity of this settlement. Although the Early Roman period witnessed a change in land economy, with the introduction of a system of cultivation furrows, the Latest Iron Age enclosure appear to have continued in use for a time. Furthermore, pitting activity in the settlement area spanned the Latest Iron Age into the Early Roman period, indicating a continuation of occupation at the site across these periods. An additional element of Early Roman land use was also identified, comprising a zone of marl quarry pits. The excavation has recorded an important example of Iron Age settlement with origins in the Middle Iron Age, rarely published in Hertfordshire. These remains and associated features on the site are evidence for a farmstead associated with stock keeping evolving throughout the Iron Age with occupation demonstrated to have ceased by the early 2nd century AD, in the Early Roman period. Furthermore, the remains combined with similar nearby evidence south of Buntingford, suggest this area was extensively settled and exploited during these periods. The associated well stratified assemblages of Mid-Latest Iron Age pottery and kiln furniture recovered from the current site form an important resource for research into ceramics, in their local and regional context.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords:hertfordshire, east hertfordshire, buntingford, hare street, iron age, roman, neolithic, kiln furniture, pottery, animal remains, settlement, iron age settlement, round house, farming, boundary ditch, four post structures, roman pottery, iron age pottery, neolithic pottery, daub, fired clay
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Hertfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD > Late Iron Age 100 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD > Middle Iron Age 400 - 100 BC
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC > Middle Neolithic 3500 - 2700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
ID Code:2903
Deposited By: Chris Faine
Deposited On:11 Aug 2016 09:12
Last Modified:11 Aug 2016 09:12

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