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Neolithic and Bronze Age Ritual Landscape at Barford Road Eynesbury, St Neots

Kemp, Steve (1998) Neolithic and Bronze Age Ritual Landscape at Barford Road Eynesbury, St Neots. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Archaeological evaluations were undertaken at Barford Road Farm, Eynesbury, St Neots by the Archaeological Field Unit of Cambridgeshire County Council. The study area consists of 41 ha. allocated in the Huntingdonshire Local Plan for Housing, open space and business uses. The development site lies to the south of Eynesbury St Neots, to the north of the A428 and the Great Ouse River lies immediately to the west.

A suite of archaeological techniques has been used to investigate the potential survival of prehistoric remains and their importance in an area outlined within the local plan for development. Aerial photographs had already revealed a series of enclosures interpreted as Neolithic cursuses and associated monuments. In order to assess the validity of this interpretation and the implied rarity of these features non-intrusive methods including field walking and geophysical survey were undertaken and later supplemented by test pitting and trenching.

The field walking and geophysical survey proved to be of limited value, whilst the intrusive field investigation has allowed the following conclusions to be drawn:

1. All of the cropmarks visible on the aerial photographs were recognised as archaeological features within the trenches and a few additional field boundaries and pits were found.

2. The cropmark features were found to exist to a maximum depth of 0.71m (post holes) although the cursus ditches were between 0.37 ad 0.57m in depth.

3. The depth of features and their disparate nature meant that the basal fills to the prehistoric ditches and pits were in good condition and contained uncontaminated archaeological deposits. However, all features have been truncated by ploughing.

4. Two previously unidentified components of the prehistoric landscapes were recognised in addition to the features seen on the aerial photographs. These consisted of Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age pits with fills and artefacts which are indicative of prehistoric occupation.

5. No upstanding prehistoric earthwork remains were found associated with the long barrow, ring ditches, or cursus monuments.

6. The area to the east of the prehistoric monuments was found to contain Romano-British and later field systems and trackways, as well as a single isolated ring ditch which lies adjacent to the roundabout immediately to the north of the Tesco Superstore.

7. Due to acidic soil conditions environmental remains were not of value.

8. Except in a few isolated cases (i.e. pits in Trench 4) artefactual remains were sparse.

9. The absence of pottery or other datable evidence from many of the excavated features meant that the period of construction, which was originally based on the aerial photographic interpretation, could not be refined.

10. The Lithic scatters found during field walking and investigated by test pitting did not reveal any underlying features and the flint artefacts were found to be contained solely within the topsoil.

11. Blank areas between the monuments were identified and are apparently sterile of archaeology, other than the remains of medieval ridge and furrow.

12. The area to the west of the prehistoric monuments and pit alignment was apparently sterile of archaeology.

13. The southern cursus has been destroyed by quarrying.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: Eynesbury, St Neots, Neolithic, Bronze Age, cursus, ritual landscape, Cambridgeshire, Archaeological Evaluation, regional importance, fieldwalking, geophysical survey, test pit, cropmarks, prehistoric, field system, trackway, Romano-British, roman, quarrying, lithics, worked flint, lithic scatter, flint scatter, EIA, LBA, late bronze age, early iron age, LBA/EIA, pit
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD > Early Iron Age 800 - 400 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC > Late Bronze Age 1000 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Depositing User: Archives
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2018 09:44
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2018 09:44
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/4148

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