A brief summary by Chris Rust
When I first skim read the report and looked at the drawing thought it was boring, but there’s an interesting twist at the end!
Dating of features is by the latest find within the feature – most dating evidence here was pottery .
T1/T2/T3 are the evaluation trenches that helped then know what to dig in full
You’ll see only one evaluation trench had anything interesting
Led to an area 16x36m being excavated fully
So let’s zoom in a bit
Here’s the full drawing
Rather busy, so I’ll simplify in a moment
Area behind the old street frontage so no buildings found
Some features had no finds so are undated, some only modern (vehicle parts etc, and modern rubbish) so we’ll ignore those.
Now the diagram stripped of anything but prehistoric
Easy to see not much there!
One pit with a few sherds of pottery, possibly as late as 1st century AD
Some prehistoric sherds also found in later features – nobody ever sifted their soil to put only current items in the fill of a feature
Ditches are field enclosures or land boundaries
Grave is of a child (N-S alignment), age 1-2yrs, supine position, Carbon dated to 1-175AD. Bones indicate they had suffered from metabolic disease and nutritional deficiencies , including anaemia and or scurvy
2nd phase is large pit – 3-4 Century
Just over 2m wide, and 2m deep, 50 sherds – rubbish pit? Good mix of different pottery types including one bit of samian – so someone round here had money for decent crockery
Truncated ditch and pits. Ditch only 2.75m long. Bit of medieval cooking pot recovered from fill
Pits consistent with refuse disposal, mainly 12-14 Century
Well formed of lime mortared rough hewn blocks, not excavated to a depth of more than 2m – well are renowned for being dangerous to excavate
Part of adult (<40 years) skull
Spot what’s unusual?
Polished through handling (bottom edge)
They’re not sure why
Most obvious parallels are Dutch about the time of Christ
Dutch examples seem to have been used as shallow cups
So do we have another Aldbourne Cup, but of a more macabre type??