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A Romanised section of the Icknield Way, south of Stanley Road, Great Chesterford, Essex

Moan, Patrick (2014) A Romanised section of the Icknield Way, south of Stanley Road, Great Chesterford, Essex. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Between 7th and 8th January 2014, OA East carried out an archaeological evaluation on land south of Stanley Road and Four Acres, Great Chesterford, Essex (TL 511 431). The site is located 500m to the east of the Roman fort and town of Great Chesterford. A total of ten trenches were excavated; one Roman roadside ditch and an undated post hole were found in the southern part of the development area. All other trenches were devoid of archaeological features.
A further phase of investigation took place between 20th and 24th January 2014 with an excavation targeted on the area of the roadside ditch. In addition to the ditch, two clusters of large pits, two parallel linear features, a well and an Anglo-Saxon inhumation were uncovered.
A large pottery assemblage was recovered from site, along with a number of glass and metal artefacts. The pottery dates the cutting of the roadside ditch to the early 2nd century, which is contemporary with the founding of the Roman town after the short lived pre-Flavian fort. Roadside activity soon followed in the form of a well and pit clusters, dating to the late 2nd century. This was the period when the town of Great Chesterford was increasing in prosperity. The roadside ditch was then recut in the early 3rd century before falling into disuse in the mid 3rd to early 4th century, a time when the town was in decline, with possible unrest in the area. The burial is the latest feature on site, dating to AD 661-770, suggesting the road was still in use without roadside ditches.
Environmental samples collected from the pits and parallel linear features contained large quantities of hammerscale and clinker, indicating nearby smithing activity.
The alignment of the Roman road would suggest the roadside ditch was cut to formalise a route of the Icknield Way Southern Route that has prehistoric origins.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: archaeological excavation, essex, uttlesford, great chesterford, roman town, icknield way, roman pottery
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Essex
Period > UK Periods > Early Medieval 410 - 1066 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: Chris Faine
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2015 11:59
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 11:59
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/2686

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