OA Library

Bronze Age – Roman remains at Cambridge Biomedical Campus: The Circus and Piazza & Papworth Trust Sites: PXA and UPD

Phillips, Tom (2015) Bronze Age – Roman remains at Cambridge Biomedical Campus: The Circus and Piazza & Papworth Trust Sites: PXA and UPD. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

[thumbnail of CAMCBC13_Report_1726_PXA_LR.pdf]
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike.

Download (4MB) | Preview


Oxford Archaeology East (OA East) conducted an open area excavation on 3.6 hectares of land to the west of Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. The work was commissioned by Aecom on behalf of Cambridge Medipark Ltd & Papworth NHS Trust, as part of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus development. The excavation area accounted for two separate sites within the Biomedical Campus; the Circus and Piazza area in the north, which covered 0.7 ha, and an area to be developed by Papworth NHS Trust, which covered 2.8 ha in the south. The remaining 0.1 ha comprised a haul road and compound area to the south. The excavation area was also divided physically by a cycle way/footpath and open drain, both of which extended east to west through the Circus and Piazza area.
The excavation revealed evidence of Middle Bronze Age land use in the form of a large ditch (334), which extended across the whole of the main area. The ditch curved gradually as it crossed the site, closely following the contour which divided the higher ground to the south-west from the lower ground to the north and east. Other Bronze Age features included several shallower boundary ditches, which radiated away from ditch 334, and four large waterholes. Two of the waterholes returned radiocarbon dates of 1500 – 1319 cal. BC and 1374 – 1121 cal. BC.
A surprising discovery was an area of metalled surface in the south of the site. The metalled surface was very fragmentary, surviving as discrete patches over a wide area. The largest individual area measured 40m x 25m and survived because it sat in a slight natural hollow. In the same area the metalled surface could clearly be seen extending over the top of the large Bronze Age ditch (334), when it had mostly silted up. It was equally as clear that the surface was truncated by an Early Roman ditch, providing a possible Iron Age date for the metalling. When viewed overall the surface extends east-south-east to west-north-west and must represent an attempt to aid access across the lower, wetter ground. There were no further Iron Age features or deposits on the site
The Early Roman activity formed the majority of the archaeology on site. It comprised an area of intensive rectilinear field system, formed by mainly small ditched plots. In the west of the site, a large area of cultivation beds had also been constructed. There was no evidence for domestic areas, probably because this parcel of land was too wet, maybe for several months of the year. Significantly, for approximately 80m the principal Early Roman boundary (194) followed the same course as the large Bronze Age ditch (334). A curious set of features were five sub-square or sub-rectangular features on the higher ground to the south-west. They were interpreted as structures, possibly a form of temporary agricultural building for processing crops. Craft activity was represented by a small sub-rectangular enclosure in the east of the site, which appeared to be associated with metalworking. Approximately 2.5kg of slag was recovered from the shallow enclosing ditch.
The post-medieval evidence comprised a series of drainage/boundary ditches, re-cut repeatedly in the lowest part of the site. Significantly, they were again closely related to Bronze Age ditch 334 and Early Roman ditch 194. There were also furrows on the site, which appeared to truncate some of the post-medieval ditches. These furrows were also post-medieval and were situated away from the lowest parts of site.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cambridgeshire, cambridgshire, Cambridge, cambridge, Addenbrookes, addenbrookes, Papworth Trust, papworth trust, archaeological excavation, excavation, Bronze Age, bronze age, Middle Bronze Age, middle bronze age, Roman, roman, early roman, Early Roman, Iron Age, iron age, Post-Medieval, post-medieval, Post Medieval, post medieval, ditch, enclosure ditch, boundary ditch, field system, roman field system, agriculture, cultivation, pottery, ceramic, sherd, flint, worked flint, lithic, lithics, lithic implement, animal remains, animal bone, bone, CBM, cbm, Ceramic Building Material, ceramic building material, Brick, brick, Tile, tile, CTP, ctp, clay tobacco pipe, Clay Tobacco Pipe, Glass, glass, waterhole, watering hole, surface, metalled surface, Bronze Age boundary ditch, bronze age boundary ditch, cremation, roman cremation, Roman cremation, samian, mortaria, ring, pin, coin, roman coin, Roman coin, quern, Horningsea coarse ware, sandy grey ware, pollen, pollen sample, pollen analysis, drainage ditch, pit, cultivation bed, 1726, report 1726, Report 1726, OAE report 1726, PXA, pxa, Post-Excavation Assessment, Post-excavation assessment, post-excavation assessment, UPD, upd, Updated Project Design, updated project design, PXA and UPD, pxa and upd
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC > Middle Bronze Age 1600 - 1,000 BC
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: Hamilton
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2018 11:35
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2018 14:29
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/4531

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item