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Bronze Age and Early Saxon settlement remains on Land East of Warren Hill, Saxmundham, Suffolk

Clarke, Graeme (2017) Bronze Age and Early Saxon settlement remains on Land East of Warren Hill, Saxmundham, Suffolk. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Between the 9th December 2015 and 8th February 2016 Oxford Archaeology East (OA East) carried out excavations at Land East of Warren Hill, Saxmundham, Suffolk. In total 1.5ha was investigated by two areas of excavation, Areas 1 and 2. The Area 2 excavation was extended at the expense of the proposed third area of excavation, towards the northern edge of the site, designed to investigate medieval boundary ditches encountered in the evaluation. This amended approach was adopted so that the limit to the Early Saxon settlement revealed during the excavations could be better defined.
The location of the excavation areas were based on the results of previous stages of work including a desk-based assessment, geophysical survey and two phases of archaeological evaluation. The evaluation revealed archaeological remains from multiple periods including: Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age pitting; a Middle Iron Age roundhouse ring ditch and associated pits; and medieval boundary ditches.
The excavation of the first area, in the southern part of the site (Area 1), did not encounter any significant remains with only a large clay-filled pit yielding a small quantity of Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age flintwork.
A substantial Early Bronze Age pit cluster was revealed in the second excavation area, in the northern part of the site (Area 2), the fills of which produced rusticated, Beaker-type pottery and flintwork that suggest occupation of the site during this period. Settlement along the River Fromus is further attested by two additional pit clusters of the period previously excavated in the near vicinity.
The excavation of Area 2 uncovered the full extent of the Middle Iron Age roundhouse found during the evaluation. A second Middle Iron Age roundhouse and associated pits were also revealed.
Unexpectedly, the excavation of this area also demonstrated the presence of a significant Early Saxon settlement. A large rectangular post-built structure, possibly representing a hall, was revealed along with evidence for a further two post-built structures. In addition, nine sunken-feature buildings (SFBs) were investigated.
The post-built and sunken-feature buildings contained hand made pottery, including decorated sherds, indicating an early 6th century AD date for the Saxon settlement. Furthermore, the SFB deposits yielded finds indicative of textile weaving, crop processing, horn-working and antler-working. A cruciform brooch of the period was also recovered along with other fragments of metalwork, including two whittle tang knives. The basal fills of the SFBs were treated as possible primary refuse deposits, with the finds and environmental samples mapped to further aid in the reconstruction of the use of these buildings.
The remains encountered in this excavation are of local and regional significance, providing the first direct evidence for the Early Saxon origins of Saxmundham and giving a rare insight into an Early Bronze Age non-funerary site in Suffolk.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: archaeological excavation, excavation, Excavation, Suffolk, suffolk, Saxmundham, saxmundham, Saxon, saxon, Early medieval, Early Medieval, early medieval, Iron Age, iron age, ring ditch, SFB, sfb, sunken featured building, post-built structure, beaker, Beaker, beaker pottery, cruciform brooch, Brooch, brooch, grubenhaus, pottery, pot, sherd, ceramic, iron age pottery, saxon pottery, bronze age pottery, Iron Age pottery, Saxon pottery, Bronze Age pottery, worked flint, settlement, Neolithic, neolithic, Late Neolithic, late neolithic, Bronze Age, bronze age, Early Bronze Age, early bronze age, Full Report, full report, 2029, report 2029, Report 2029, OAE report 2029
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Suffolk
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC > Early Bronze Age 2500 - 1500 BC
Period > UK Periods > Early Medieval 410 - 1066 AD
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Neolithic 4000 - 2200 BC
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: Hamilton
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2022 13:28
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2022 13:28
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6192

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