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Marlow Flood Alleviation Scheme, Pound Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire: Phase II Archaeological Evaluation Report

Thacker, Gerry and Champness, Carl (2010) Marlow Flood Alleviation Scheme, Pound Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire: Phase II Archaeological Evaluation Report. Project Report. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd.. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In November 2009, Oxford Archaeology (OA) undertook a field evaluation for
Halcrow Group Limited, on behalf of The Environment Agency, in Harleyford Field
and Yela Bina Field on Lower Pound Lane, immediately to the west of Marlow in
Buckinghamshire. Twenty evaluative trenches were excavated in order to assess
the archaeological implications for undertaking flood alleviation works at the Site.
The trenches were targeted on geophysical anomalies and variations in the subsurface
topography identified from a previous borehole survey.
The Site is located on the edge of a gravel island within the Thames floodplain on
the south side of the river. Significant early prehistoric archaeology has been
previously identified on the island and around its margins, which includes three
possible Bronze Age barrows and evidence of earlier Neolithic activity. The current
phase of work constitutes a second phase of evaluation in the area and was
designed to establish whether this activity extended to the southern edges of the
island.
The trenching refined the evidence from an existing paleotopographic model for two
palaeochannels separated by a smaller gravel island that cross the Site from SW –
NE and converge further to the East. Fills of these channels were seen to have
limited archaeological and environmental potential.
A low density of potential archaeological features were recorded across the northern
and western parts of the Site. These included pits, post holes and ditches, most of
which contained no finds, but a limited number contained material of Neolithic date.
Most of the features were dug through an alluvium in the low-lying areas associated
with the palaeochannels. The position, date and form of a Neolithic rectangular
enclosure located on the southern edge of the gravel island to the north of the Site
was confirmed in Trench 33.
Trenches within Harleyford Field demonstrated that modern ploughing had probably
significantly truncated archaeological features and abundant struck flint, and a
single sherd of Neolithic pottery was observed within the ploughsoil. This level of
truncation was not observed in the pasture land of Yela Bina Field.
Apart from the ditch in Trench 33 there appeared to be little correlation between
geophysical anomalies and the archaeology. The trenching suggested that the
geophysical responses were probably caused by geological and pedological
changes and bear little resemblance to the distribution of archaeological features
identified.
The most recent phase of work on the Site has identified further evidence for
Neolithic monuments and possible settlement activity on the island prior to the
construction of the round burrows. This may suggest that rather than the barrows
representing the peak of activity on the Site, it appears that they may have been
the final stages of a much longer lived phase of earlier activity based on the island

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects: Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Buckinghamshire
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2011 11:02
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2011 14:39
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/439

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