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The Archaeology of Brigg's Farm, Prior's Fen, Thorney, Peterborough

Pickstone, Alexandra and Mortimer, Richard (2011) The Archaeology of Brigg's Farm, Prior's Fen, Thorney, Peterborough. Project Report. Oxford Archaeology Ltd., Bar Hill. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

An open area excavation of c.11ha was carried out at Brigg's Farm, Thorney between August and December 2008 by Oxford Archaeology East. The site was located in an archaeologically significant area, particularly for the Bronze Age, with the excavations at Fengate, Bradley Fen, Must Farm, Eye Quarry, Tower's Fen and Pode Hole all within a few kilometres. The site lay on the northern side of a fenland embayment between Thorney and Northey islands; the land within the excavations rises from 0.3m OD at the south-west to 2.3m OD at the north. The excavation produced features and assemblages dating from the Neolithic through to the Middle Iron Age. An intensive system of Post-Medieval claying or marl ditches covered the entire site. Neolithic occupation evidence was present in the form of flint scatters, small pits and finds within tree throws. A small number of Beaker pits were also present. Early Bronze Age remains were more extensive and included Collared Urn pits and a small barrow which contained a sequence of burials - an inhumation and three cremations (five individuals in total) - dating to between 2000 and 1750 cal BC. Three further isolated cremations burials included one placed within a large Collared Urn. An extensive Middle Bronze Age ditched and banked field system dating to c. 1550-1450 BC and typical of this area, was set out with reference to topographical influences as well as to earlier monuments. There is some evidence for pre-settlement activity within the field system, dated to c. 1500- 1400 cal BC. A later (c. 1400-1300 cal BC), large and deep-ditched rectangular enclosure was constructed within the field system in the northeastern corner of the site. A number of cattle skulls were placed in the end of one of the enclosure's ditches near to its entrance Twelve field wells were excavated, seven of which were radiocarbon and which spanned the entire Middle Bronze Age period from c. 1600 to 1200 cal BC. Their basal fills contained waterlogged environmental remains and pollen and were extensively sampled; two contained log ladders, of hazel and maple, the former, with six steps, is the largest yet found of this date in an English context. A large, mortised timber was recovered from another well. A Middle Bronze Age settlement area occupied the higher ground at the northern limits of the site and has been dated to c. 1400-1250 cal BC. The settlement was set within purpose-built ditched enclosures and comprised at least six post-built structures and a small number of pits. A large assemblage of animal bone (principally cattle), Deverel-Rimbury pottery, clay weights and briquetage associated with salt making were recovered from three main locations across the site. The briquetage assemblage may be the earliest in the country. There was some slight evidence of a Later Bronze Age presence within the area and two large undated roundhouses with mid-late Iron Age characteristics were located within the Middle Bronze Age settlement area.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Additional Information:Volume one containing text of report, volume two contains figures
Uncontrolled Keywords:archaeological evacavation, peterborough, thorney, neolithic, bronze age, beaker, beaker pit, pottery, volume 1, collared urn, middle iron age, barrow, inhumation, cremation, burial, middle bronze age, middle bronze age field system, deverel-rimbury pottery, enclosure
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC > Early Bronze Age 2500 - 1500 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC > Late Bronze Age 1000 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC > Middle Bronze Age 1600 - 1,000 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD > Middle Iron Age 400 - 100 BC
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:2927
Deposited By: Chris Faine
Deposited On:12 Oct 2016 11:56
Last Modified:12 Oct 2016 11:56

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