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An Archaeological Evaluation of the Proposed Site of the Cambridge Rowing Trust Rowing Lake at Milton and Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire

Robinson, B. and Guttmann, E. B. (1996) An Archaeological Evaluation of the Proposed Site of the Cambridge Rowing Trust Rowing Lake at Milton and Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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An archaeological field evaluation was undertaken by Cambridgeshire County Council Archaeological Field Unit during October and November 1995 on the proposed site of The Cambridge Rowing Trust's competition standard rowing lake. The development area comprises approximately 100 ha of low-lying land on the west bank of the River Cam between Milton and Waterbeach. (TL 482 620 to TL 493 649).
The evaluation, commissioned by the Cambridge Rowing Trust, was preceded by the interpretation and re-plotting of aerial photographic evidence of the area. Several cropmark complexes were mapped, along with areas of deeper soil and geological features. Crop response varied from good to poor across the development area. Suitable available fields were field walked in order to further target areas of potential, and to continue the sample cover provided by the Fenland Project Survey work in the Northern plotted cropmark complexes, to test cropmark blank areas (such as areas of alluvium cover) and to further characterise previously located artefact scatters. Trial trench/test pit cover amounted to 1.21% of the areas of destruction as identifies by the development plans issued with the project specification.
At the southern end of the development area trenching revealed a sequence of alluvial deposits, comprising silts, silty clays and organic mud/peats, and variably developed buried soils. A scatter of (as yet largely undiagnostic) worked flint was noted in association with one alluvial horizon. The basal organic deposit of a fen basin or mere yielded a radiocarbon date of 2380+_60 BP. The final desiccated organic deposit in the area. Settlement related late prehistoric features were revealed in clusters off the flood plain, though little lithic or ceramic material of prehistoric date was recovered by fieldwalking.
Two Romano-British inhumation cemeteries and a Horningsea ware pottery production site were located. Abundant evidence for Romano-British cereal processing and animal husbandry exist in association with the cropmark remains of a fen edge/river terrace linear settlement. Romano-British activity (in the sampled areas) peaked during the second-third centuries AD, but continued into the fourth century AD in some areas.
Two Early Anglo-Saxon artefacts scatters were investigated by gridded test pits. Two earth-fast post-built ('hall' - like) structures were revealed in association with other early Saxon features within one of the scatters. Substantial Romano-British ditches had been re-cut during the Saxon period at the other site. One possible Sunken Feature Building was revealed. Despite the inability to confidently differentiate between Anglo Saxon and Romano-British coins, abundant pottery (including some decorated sherds) and associated animal remains, suggests that both scatter sites represent areas of early Anglo-Saxon domestic activity.
Preservation characteristics vary across the development area from 'wet', well sealed deposits; to 'dry' well-sealed and partially truncated buried soils; to 'dry' plough truncated cut features. Pollen, organic materials (such as leather and wood) and charred plant remains survive on the lower-lying parts of the development area. Mollusc shells and faunal remains survive in good condition across the entire development area.
The development area comprises a tract of land of considerable archaeological interest. The associations between contemporary site foci and field systems (notably the Romano-British complexes), the development of the landscape over time (notably Romano-British to Early Saxon), and the relationships between anthropogenic activity and the changing fen environment, provide a basis for the formulation of specific themes for the archaeological investigation of the area.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cambridgeshire, cambridgeshire, Milton, milton, Waterbeach, waterbeach, archaeological evaluation, Romano-British, romano-british, Anglo-Saxon, anglo-saxon, inhumation cemetery, Horningsea Ware, horningsea ware, pottery, pottery production, cereal processing, Romano-British coins, coin, The Cambridge Rowing Trust, Roman, roman, cropmark, cropmarks, Early Medieval, early medieval, trial trench, test pit, worked flint, fen basin, C14, radiocarbon dating, fieldwalking, grave, HSR, hsr, human remains, pottery production, animal husbandry, settlement, linear settlement, structure, post-built structure, ditch, SFB, sfb, sunken-featured building, grubenhaus, animal remains, domestic activity, buried soil, Pollen, pollen, organic materials, charred plant remains, cpr, CPR, faunal remains, Mollusc shells, mere, 120, report 120, Report 120, CCCAFU report 120
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Early Medieval 410 - 1066 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Depositing User: Archives
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2018 12:11
Last Modified: 25 May 2022 08:13
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/4111

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