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RAF Cardington, Bedfordshire: Archaeologicol Evalualion Report, Oxford Archaeology, August 2004, & RAF Cardington Bedfordshire Phase II March 2008

Dodds, Dan and Weaver, Steven and Lambert, Neil (2004) RAF Cardington, Bedfordshire: Archaeologicol Evalualion Report, Oxford Archaeology, August 2004, & RAF Cardington Bedfordshire Phase II March 2008. Project Report. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In June 2004 Oxford Archaeology (OA) carried out a field evaluation at RAF Cardington (NGR: TL 0790 4720), commissioned by John Samuels Archaeological Consultants (JSAC) on behalf of Bellway Homes. RAF Cardington is situated to the south of Bedford overlooking the valley of the River Great Ouse. The proposed development site covers an area of approximately 4 6.7 5 hectares. Evaluation trenching was initially targeted to examine those areas o.f thesite identified within an earlier desk based assessment, prepared by JSAC in 2004, as having been subject lo the least disturbance from its former use as a military air base. On this basis, three areas were identified for examination, Areas A, C and D. A total of 19 trenches were excavated within Area A. These revealed a limited number of undated archaeological, features, predominantly characterised by surviving ditches considered likely to represent the remains of peripheral field systems. The recovery of a residual worked flint blade of Mesolithic/early Neolithic date also attests to occupation activity of this period within the general area of the site. A total of seven trenches were excavated within Area C. These revealed high levels of modern disturbance. Only two undated features, comprising a ditch and pit were recorded in this area. The pit is considered to be of uncertain archaeological origin. A total of eight trenches were excavated within Area D. These revealed evidence of moderate levels of modern disturbance, dumping deposits being shown to have in places sealed former topsoil horizons. A pair of parallel ditches of late Iron Age/Roman origin were recorded at the western extent of the area and a further pit type feature of dubious archaeological origin being recorded at its centre. The evaluation has demonstrated that a low level of surviving below ground archaeological activity is present within those areas of the development site defined as having experienced low levels of later modern disturbance. The overall emphasis of recorded features suggests that they are linear in character, and the general lack of any associated artefactual material would suggest that they may represent evidence of more peripheral activity, possibly the surviving remnants of field systems of uncertain age. These may be associated with sites of direct settlement, cropmark and artefactual evidence for which is known/conjectured to exist immediately outside of the development area, both to its north, east and south west. The recorded archaeological remains in general are poorly preserved, having been shown to have been subject to both truncation through agricultural practices and modern disturbance. Such disturbance was shown shown to be more extensive over Areas (C and D) Phase 2 intrusive archaeological evaluation at RAF Cardington (NGR: TL 0790 4720), commissioned by CgMs Consulting on behalf of Bellway Homes. RAF Cardington is situated to the south of Bedford overlooking the valley of the River Great Ouse. The proposed development site covers an area of approximately 46.75 hectares. Evaluation trenching was targeted to examine those areas of the site that had not been evaluated, but would be impacted by the first phase of building development. On this basis, three areas were identified for examination. Further trenches were excavated in Area C, and areas E and H were evaluated. The phase II evaluation proposal for 29 trenches was revised onsite to 26. A total of 7 trenches were excavated within Area C. No archaeological features were observed in Area C and the whole area was criss-crossed by service trenches, paths/service roads and the remains of demolished buildings. A total of 15 trenches were excavated within Area E. These revealed high levels of modern disturbance. Archaeology was observed in three trenches, 62, 63 and 68. The features, all of which were truncated, included pits and ditches of late Iron-Age to medieval date. A total of 4 trenches were excavated within Area H. A single truncated, undated ditch/gully was observed in trench 52. Other trenches revealed truncation caused by the construction and demolition of a former sewage works. The evaluation has demonstrated that a low level archaeological activity survives within these areas of the development site. The overall emphasis of recorded features suggests they are linear in character, and the general lack of any associated artefactual material would suggest that they represent evidence of more peripheral activity, possibly the surviving remnants of field systems of uncertain age. These may be associated with sites of settlement, or cropmark and artefactual evidence, which is known/conjectured to exist immediately outside the development area, to the north, east and south west. The recorded archaeological remains in general are poorly preserved, having been subjected to both truncation through agricultural practices and modern disturbance

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Period > UK Periods > Mesolithic 10,000 - 4,000 BC
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Bedfordshire
ID Code:472
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:25 Jan 2011 13:54
Last Modified:13 Jun 2019 11:16

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