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Whitehill Quarry, Burford Oxfordshire

Gurney, George Whitehill Quarry, Burford Oxfordshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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In November 2021, Oxford Archaeology was commissioned by Landgage
Heritage Limited the on behalf of Smiths Bletchington to undertake a trialtrench
evaluation at a proposed quarry extension on Land off Whitehill
Quarry, Burford, Oxfordshire. The fieldwork was undertaken over the course
of two weeks, consisting of 61 trenches covering a c.10.25-hectare site,
representing a 2% sample of the proposed development area. The trenches
were designed to provide good coverage of the site and test the validity of the
geophysical survey.
The evaluation identified two areas of archaeological interest, whilst the
remaining areas and geophysical features were found to be of natural origin
or related to later agricultural activity. The most significant archaeological
remains identified were a potential ring gully within Trench 35. The feature
spans about 27m in diameter with enclosure ditches about 1.2m in width. The
shallow depth of the gully ditches at just over 0.5m and the lack of any clear
evidence of any surviving bank material or central burial remains suggests that
the feature has been significantly truncated by modern ploughing. Although
undated, the nature of its ditch fills, its circular form, its environmental
evidence, and landscape setting, would support its interpretation as a
potential prehistoric barrow.
Two undated shallow pits were also identified in Trench 19 and produced
burnt deposits and charred cereal grains, which could be related to prehistoric
or later activity. These potential rubbish or storage pits indicate nearby
transient activity, but perhaps away from areas of settlement.
Despite the site being located adjacent to the major Roman road of Akeman
Street, which runs along its eastern boundary, and close to the remains of a
Roman stone building identified at the nearby solar farm, no Roman-period
activity was identified during the evaluation. The geophysical features that
looked promising on the previous survey and pointed to evidence of
enclosures, trackways and field systems, were found to correspond to
geological variations or areas of natural disturbance within the trenches.
Evidence of later activity in the form of late 17th-18th century pits are likely
to relate to agriculture activity. The remains of former field boundaries and
perhaps hedgerows were also identified within Trenches 49 and 51.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2022 09:51
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2022 09:51
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6422

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