2015 Season Updates
Update 1. February 2015
We start the year with some very interesting feed back on last year’s discoveries.
On virtually the last day of the dig a Roman glass vessel was found smashed under a stone used to level up the floor of our Building 2 (the one with the hearth). It was very fine glass and in many bits, which were carefully lifted, some still in the block of earth. It turns out that one of the team involved in excavating our human skeleton is also a glass specialist, and just before Christmas she took this vessel and all our other 90 glass finds to assess them. We await the results of her analysis.
Our pollen specialist has also come up with some preliminary results for the samples she took on Site 1, mainly from gullies around the buildings. They seem the show the same lack of cereal pollen as the samples from Site 3, despite the geophysics evidence for nearby Romano – British fields. Curiouser and curiouser. The other samples she has been looking at came from the fill of the prehistoric burial pit and from the Beaker pit in Site 2, but these were disappointing as any pollen that might have been there has oxidised and disappeared.
We have also just received the C14 dates from the skeleton and the baby burial.
The skeleton dates are roughly between 2,500 – 2,100 BC, ie the late neolithic. This fits nicely with the polished flint axe and the antler pick found in the pit fill, and what we know of neolithic burial rites. It also means that the beaker deposit in the top of the grave pit fill could be contemporary or soon after the burial, as beakers begin to appear at about the same time, although they persist into the early bronze age. We have quantities of charcoal from the beaker deposit, some of which will be carbon dated in due course to see if any better precision can be achieved about the chronological relationship between burial and beaker.
The baby burial was in the top fill of the narrow ditch in Site 3, the ditch fill itself contained exclusively iron age pottery so it is not a surprise that the baby’s dates are roughly between AD 50 to AD 200, and most likely in the 2nd century AD, i.e. in the Roman period. This burial, and the adult cremation only a metre away, may have something to do with the nearby RB shrine.
David Freke, Archaeologist. February 2015