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Braintree PZ Supply Demand Balance: Great Horkesley to Ardleigh, Essex

Rees, Gareth (2016) Braintree PZ Supply Demand Balance: Great Horkesley to Ardleigh, Essex. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Oxford Archaeology East undertook monitoring, strip and map recording, and excavation along the route of the Braintree PZ Supply/Demand Balance pipeline for Anglian Water. This report deals with those sites and findings uncovered on the route from Great Horkesley (TL 97009 31227), in the west, to Ardleigh Reservoir (TM 02495 30124), in the east, between the 25th September 2014 and 19th January 2015. The westernmost segment of the route up to the A12 at Langham falls under the jurisdiction of Colchester Borough Council Planning Department (site code COLEM2014.72), whilst the eastern segment from the A12 to the termination at the Ardleigh Reservoir falls within the remit of Essex County Council Place Services (site code ARWP14).
Archaeological monitoring was required along virtually the entire length of the pipeline which ran for almost 10km. Five fields, two in the western segment and three in the eastern segment, were selected for strip and map excavation due to the presence of cropmarks, indicative archaeological sites, recorded in the Historic Environment Record. Cropmarks were also visible in several other fields along the route and a controlled topsoil strip was also conducted on these sites.
Excavations uncovered two sites between Great Horkesley and Langham (Sites 1 and 2) and another two sites between Langham and Ardleigh (Sites 3 and 4). Site 1 was spread over three fields to the east of the A134 and consisted of undated and post-medieval pits and ditches. Remains uncovered at Site 2, located in one field to the west of the A12, comprised Late Iron Age and Roman boundary ditches which may indicate that a settlement was located nearby. Site 3, located in four fields to the west of Ardleigh village, contained ditches and pits that have been dated to the post-medieval period, or did not produced any datable artefacts. These features may have related to former field boundaries and agricultural activities. Part of a medieval and post-medieval fieldsystem was also uncovered at Site 4, which was located in a field south of Ardleigh to the east of the A137.
A series of shallow pits with charcoal rich, undated fills were found in several fields to the west of the A12. It is possible that these pits are part of a complex of 'fire pit' features found throughout the landscape north of Colchester and dated in other excavations to the very Late Iron Age and early Roman period. A sample of charred plant remains from one of the pits returned a date of 21calBC – 125calAD (92.8%) from C14 analysis. Charcoal from a similar pit proved to be modern.
Site 4 also produced evidence of prehistoric activity. An Ardleigh-type vessel, radio carbon dated to the beginning of the Late Bronze Age, was recovered from an isolated pit. These vessels are commonly associated with cemeteries of the period, however no funerary evidence was uncovered on the site.
Monitoring of topsoil removal on the remainder of the route uncovered no significant archaeological features. A metal detector survey along the entire route located primarily modern finds.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Essex
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC > Late Bronze Age 1000 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD > Late Iron Age 100 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: Chris Faine
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2017 13:33
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2017 13:33
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/3183

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