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Land to the rear of 79 High Street, Meldreth, Cambridgeshire: Middle Anglo-Saxon Backyard Activity

Webb, Robin (2021) Land to the rear of 79 High Street, Meldreth, Cambridgeshire: Middle Anglo-Saxon Backyard Activity. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Between 5th October and 3rd November 2020 OA East conducted an archaeological excavation on land to the rear of 79 High Street, Meldreth, Cambridgeshire (centred on TL 3742 4622). This followed an archaeological evaluation of six trenches that covered the northern, eastern and western edges of the development area. The proposed development, covering c.1ha in the centre of the village, is for the erection of 18 dwellings, together with landscaped open space and the creation of a new access road from the High Street.
The excavation consisted of two areas: one along the northern edge (Area 2) that covered evaluation Trenches 1 and 2 and one in the south-western corner (Area 1) that covered Trench 3 and the western end of Trench 4. The archaeological features that were revealed expanded upon those identified during the evaluation phase of the investigation.
Most of the features uncovered by the excavation dated to the Middle Anglo-Saxon period. This phase witnessed the establishment of a boundary ditch which extended east of the stream which separated the sloping ground to the west from level ground to the east. A network of ditches extended east from this ditch in Area 1. Both areas uncovered groups of pits. After a hiatus of activity during the Late Anglo-Saxon period, a set of boundary ditches were established on an east to west alignment which probably defined medieval properties fronting the High Street to the east.
Dateable finds recovered from the Middle Anglo-Saxon features mostly consisted of Ipswich Ware pottery, ironwork (including five knife blades, a pair of shears and a spoon), ironworking debris and animal bone (amphibians, cattle, dog, fish, horse, sheep/goat, pig and bird). Sampling of the feature fills produced small quantities of charred grain, legumes and weed seeds. The later set of medieval ditches did not produce much in the way of artefacts to reflect their back plot setting. Residual prehistoric and Romano-British artefacts were also recovered.
The Middle Anglo-Saxon pottery recovered from the site holds a degree of regional significance in that it is one of the largest assemblages of Ipswich Ware from anywhere in Cambridgeshire besides Ely. The finding of Middle Anglo-Saxon remains in the centre of the village and in close proximity to the purported medieval site of Street Manor to the north (the present site of Meldreth Manor House) is an important contribution to the local archaeological record relating to the origins of Meldreth.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cambridgeshire, cambridgeshire, Meldreth, meldreth, Excavation, excavation, archaeological excavation, Early Medieval, early medieval, Anglo-Saxon, anglo-saxon, Pottery, pottery, pot, ceramic, sherd, vessel, Early Medieval pottery, early medieval pottery, Ipswich ware, ipswich ware, boundary, ditch, ditch, early medieval boundary ditch, ditches, property boundary, early medieval land use, animal remains, animal bone, animal bones, bone, bones, early medieval animal remains, ecofact, ecofacts, charred plant remains, CPR, cpr, Medieval, medieval, Medieval pottery, medieval pottery, medieval ditch, shears, spoon, thimble, metalworking debris, 2480, report 2480, Report 2480, OAE report 2480
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Early Medieval 410 - 1066 AD
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: Hamilton
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2023 14:30
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2023 14:30
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/7050

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