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The Walkdens, Ashwell, Hertfordshire

Phillips, Tom (2013) The Walkdens, Ashwell, Hertfordshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Between 8th – 9th October 2013 Oxford Archaeology East conducted an evaluation on land to the rear of The Walkdens, Ashwell, Hertfordshire. The site was approximately 0.5 ha in size and the evaluation comprised six trenches totalling 180m. Geophysics had previously been carried out at the site and had identified a Bronze Age barrow, approximately 25m in diameter, which is one of three located within the field. Trench 1 was positioned across the diameter of the barrow; in both excavated sections the ring-ditch was shallow, measuring a maximum of 0.2m deep. As a result, Trench 6 was opened, to determine whether the ditch was a similar depth to the east. Surprisingly, the ring-ditch was deeper in Trench 6, measuring 0.5m deep. No burial or human remains were identified, either within, or associated with, the barrow. A small undated pit or hollow was excavated inside the area of the barrow, close to its southern edge. Nearby, a similar feature was only partially exposed and remained unexcavated. The only other features encountered during the evaluation were two tree throws in Trenches 2 and 4.
Finds were rare, totalling two small fragments of animal bone (one cattle tooth and one pig tooth, 32g), a small heavily patinated flint blade of Late Mesolithic/Early Neolithic date, which had broken in antiquity (1g) and a single tiny sherd of pot (1g), all from the barrow ring-ditch in Trench 6. Three bulk samples were taken to assess the quality of preservation of plant remains and their potential to provide useful data. Plant remains are sparse and are preserved by carbonization (charring) caused by exposure to fire. The better preserved grains can be tentatively identified as a prehistoric hulled wheat, either emmer or spelt.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: archaeological evaluation, hertfordshire, ashwell, barrow, ring ditch, bronze age, iron age, pottery
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Hertfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: Chris Faine
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2016 14:17
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2016 14:17
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/2938

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