OA Library

Apex Park, Daventry, Northamptonshire

Gorniak, Mariusz and Murray, Paul and Dodd, Mark and Howsam, Charlotte and Broderick, Lee and Davies, Alex and Donnelly, Mike and Heistermann, Christof and McIntyre, Lauren and Meen, Julia and Poole, Cynthia and Shaffrey, Ruth and Stafford, Elizabeth Apex Park, Daventry, Northamptonshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

[thumbnail of DAPA19_evaluation.pdf]
Preview
PDF
DAPA19_evaluation.pdf

Download (11MB) | Preview
[thumbnail of DAPA19_Excavation_.pdf]
Preview
PDF
DAPA19_Excavation_.pdf

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

Evaluation
Oxford Archaeology (OA) was commissioned by Prologis UK Limited with RPS
Heritage as their archaeological advisor and overall project manager to
undertake trial trenching for Apex Park Phase 4 at Daventry,
Northamptonshire. The work was undertaken in advance of the submission of
a planning application for commercial development at the site.
The evaluation was designed to target and confirm the results of a geophysical
survey and previous targeted trial trenching whilst also providing coverage of
the entire area to assess for the presence or absence of archaeological
remains within the development. This included the excavation of deep
trenches and trial pits to establish the impact of 20th-century landfill
operations recorded across the northern part of the site.
The current phase comprised the excavation of 72 trenches and was carried
out between July and August 2019. This confirmed the presence of a
continuous-circuit ditched feature identified by the geophysical survey. This is
probably an early Bronze Age ring-ditch, although convincing dating evidence
was lacking. The evaluation also recorded a previously identified linear ditch
to the south of the ring-ditch. Convincing dating evidence was similarly
lacking, although this may be a contemporary feature of the early Bronze Age
landscape. In addition, an undated cremation burial and a pit containing a
charcoal-rich fill and fragments of burnt clay were recorded to the east of the
ring-ditch.
Three further ditches were identified of which one produced scraps of early
Bronze Age pottery and corresponded to a curving feature identified by the
geophysical survey.
The evaluation also confirmed the presence of a medieval or post-medieval
agricultural system of furrows aligned northeast-southwest. This is likely to
have truncated the upper horizons of the earlier archaeological features.
The northern part of the development area had previously been utilised as a
landfill site. The evaluation established the partial survival of relatively
undisturbed buried land surfaces below part of the landfill deposits along with
areas of truncation. This confirmed the southern extent of the area impacted
by the landfill operations.

Excavation report - forthcoming
Archaeological excavations by Oxford Archaeology at Apex Park, Daventry revealed an early Bronze Age ring ditch, along with a nearby middle Bronze Age cremation burial and a small number of Iron Age pits and postholes (including a rectangular four-post structure) scattered across the excavation area. The recovery of abraded late Neolithic/early Bronze Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age pottery from the upper fills of the ring ditch, along with a large quantity of worked flint recovered both from the ring ditch and neighbouring Iron Age features, suggests that it continued to form a focus for activity into the Iron Age. A NW–SE aligned ditch also crossed the site to the south of the ring ditch and has been tentatively dated to the Iron Age, though a later date cannot be ruled out. This report summarises the results of these excavations and places them in their local and regional context
Excavation
Oxford Archaeology carried out an archaeological excavation in 2019 within the Phase 4 area of Apex Park, Daventry, Northamptonshire, centred on NGR SP 55630 64480. A geophysical survey of the c 14.9ha Phase 4 development site and two phases of trial-trench evaluation in 2018 and 2019 had established the presence of prehistoric remains, notably an earlier prehistoric ring ditch. The excavation area, totalling c 0.53ha, was subsequently targeted upon these remains in the south of the site.
The excavation exposed the c 16m diameter ring ditch, the construction of which is dated to the late Neolithic/early Bronze Age, by late Neolithic flint, and charcoal radiocarbon dated to 1873–1663 cal BC recovered from its lower fills. The recovery of abraded late Neolithic/early Bronze Age (Beaker), Bronze Age and Iron Age pottery from its upper fills suggest that the ring ditch continued to form a focus for activity into the Iron Age. It is likely that the ring ditch surrounded a barrow, though no primary burial was encountered. A cremation burial recorded during the 2019 evaluation to the east of the ring ditch has been radiocarbon dated to the middle Bronze Age (1406–1262 cal BC) and the ring ditch lies a short distance to the south-east of a larger segmented enclosure ditch of early Bronze Age date, previously excavated in the Phase 3 Apex Park development area. A large quantity of worked flint recovered from the ring ditch and neighbouring Iron Age features suggests that the monument was a focal point of later prehistoric activity.
Together with Iron Age pottery recovered from the ring ditch, a small number of Iron Age pits and postholes (including a rectangular four-post structure) were scattered across the excavation area, providing evidence of outlying activity associated with a settlement previously excavated to the south-west. A NW–SE aligned ditch also crossed the site to the south of the ring ditch and has been tentatively dated to the Iron Age. It is possible that the ditch formed a boundary between the earlier prehistoric monument to its north and the middle Iron Age settlement site previously excavated to the south-west. A later date for the ditch, however, cannot be entirely ruled out, and it may have constituted the remains of a medieval or post-medieval field boundary.
Remains definitely post-dating the Iron Age were limited to plough furrows and land drains indicative of medieval/post-medieval and modern agricultural activities.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Northamptonshire
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 18:03
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2021 14:22
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/5865

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item