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An Early to Middle Bronze Age settlement at Fordham Road, Newmarket: PXA and UPD

Rees, Gareth (2014) An Early to Middle Bronze Age settlement at Fordham Road, Newmarket: PXA and UPD. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Between 21st of January and 15th February 2013 Oxford Archaeology East conducted an archaeological evaluation and subsequent excavation on land at Fordham Road, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire (TL 632 672) in advance of the development of a solar farm.
A total of 15 (730m) evaluation trenches were opened, targeted on geophysical anomalies identified in the south-east corner of the site. Features identified by the geophysical survey proved to be both geological and archaeological, with archaeological features, predominantly ditches and postholes, dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age. Based on this evidence two excavation areas were opened targeted on parts of the site where the development would impact on the archaeological deposits.
The northern area (A), measuring 56m from north to south and 22m from east to west, was targeted over a curvi-linear enclosure ditch. Area B, located 10m to the south and measuring 124m north-east to south-west by 65m north-west to south-east, was targeted over two ditched enclosures, a possible droveway and two areas of postholes thought to represent a prehistoric settlement.
The excavations uncovered a multi-phase settlement with evidence of occupation on the site from the Early Neolithic and the remains of a settlement dating from the Late Neolithic\Early Bronze Age through to the Iron Age. Pottery and lithics dating to the Early Neolithic were recovered residually from across the site but were also found in concentration in a pit in Area B.
A layer, thought to be a midden, pits and a post-built structure located at the south of the trench, contained pottery and lithics dating to the Late Neolithic\Early Bronze Age as well as a short length of Bronze wire. These were associated with a line of tree pits which may have formed an early boundary across the site.
The boundaries of the Early Bronze Age settlement were respected and elaborated during the Middle Bronze Age when the majority of activity took place on the site. Three enclosures date to this period. Enclosure 3 was formed by a palisade to the north and a ditched boundary to the west. It contained six post-built structures, measuring between 4m and 7.8m in diameter, as well as several areas of postholes that may have been related to fences, animal pens, hay-ricks and ancillary shelters and buildings. Enclosure 4 was bounded by ditches and was later re-cut to form Enclosure 6. These enclosures contained three post-built structures, measuring between 4.70m and 8m in diameter, which contained pottery dating to the Middle Bronze Age and Iron Age. Charred grains and quern stones provide good evidence for cereal processing, whilst the animal bone assemblage is typical of the Middle Bronze Age with predominantly primary butchery waste of cattle being recovered. The recovery of hazelnuts and red deer antler indicate that a pastoral life-style was being supplemented by hunting and foraging.
This site is of considerable regional significance. Settlements dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age are rarely found and sites with well dated features demonstrating continuity of activity throughout the period are exceptional. The number of buildings dating to the Middle Bronze Age uncovered on this site make it the largest settlement of this period in East Anglia and the East Midland.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: Suffolk, suffolk, Newmarket, newmarket, Excavation, excavation, archaeological excavation, PXA, pxa, UPD, upd, Post-excavation Assessment, post-excavation assessment, Updated Project Design, updated project design, Bronze Age, bronze age, Early bronze Age, early bronze age, Middle Bronze Age, middle bronze age, Pottery, pottery, pot, ceramic, sherd, Bronze Age pottery, bronze age pottery, Early bronze Age pottery, early bronze age pottery, Middle Bronze Age pottery, middle bronze age pottery, Early Neolithic, early neolithic, Neolithic, neolithic, Iron Age, iron age, settlement, enclosures, post hole, posthole, post holes, postholes, palisade, ditch, ditches, boundary, boundaries, boundary ditch, boundary ditches, lithic, lithics, lithic implement, lithic implements, flint, flints, worked flint, worked flints, animal bone, bone, animal remains, animal bones, bones, cereal, cereal processing, charred grain, charred grains, grain, grains, CPR, cpr, charred plat remains, quern, quern stone, quernstone, droveway, trackway, fence, fences, animal pens, animal pen, hay-ricks, hay-rick, hay rick, hayrick, ancillary shelter, buildings, building, hazelnut, red deer, antler, agriculture, pastoral, 1443, report 1443, Report 1443, OAE report 1443
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Suffolk
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 > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC > Early Neolithic 4000 - 3000 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC > Late Neolithic 2700 - 2200 BC
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC > Middle Bronze Age 1600 - 1,000 BC
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: Chris Faine
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2014 07:33
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2020 09:47
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/2069

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