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Assessment of the Archaeology on the Cambridgeshire Gravels

Phillips, Tom and Popescu, Elizabeth (2010) Assessment of the Archaeology on the Cambridgeshire Gravels. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Cambridgeshire has been subject to widespread gravel (aggregates) extraction throughout the 20th century and, like much of the rest of the country, intensively since World War 2. The county is crossed by three great river valleys – the Cam, the Great Ouse and the Nene – that produced large swathes of river gravels thus creating the local resource for extraction.
A considerable amount of archaeological records have been generated by this extraction activity and collectively these records provide details of human habitation and impact on the Cambridgeshire landscape from the Palaeolithic through, unbroken and often in great detail, to the modern day. An investigation of this material affords an opportunity to chronicle the landscape history of great swathes of Cambridgeshire and to contribute to both the archaeological and palaeontological records.
A study by Oxford Archaeology East has been carried out as part of an Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) commission to identify and assess the full spectrum of archaeological records and interventions on the Cambridgeshire Gravels, and subsequently to identify the degree to which backlogs of analysis and publications exist.
The proposed project is in a number of stages. Stage 1, dealt with in this report, comprised a rapid desk-based assessment of existing records with the aim of identifying archaeological backlogs and projects with insufficient dissemination within the county of Cambridgeshire. Stage 1 followed the methodology and database devised by ARCUS for the Identification and Quantification of Projects Arising From Aggregates Extraction: Pilot Study; ALSF project 4767.
The main findings of the current project are as follows:
- Some 132 projects were recorded in the database, of which 57 (43%) were considered to have incomplete or inappropriate levels of dissemination, but of these all but 4 are actively progressing or have plans to progress to appropriate dissemination.
- Soft aggregates extraction sites (sand and gravel) account for 91% of the projects in the database.
- The vast majority (78%) of projects were carried out since PPG 16/15, most of which are actively progressing towards appropriate dissemination. The majority of inappropriately disseminated projects identified (91%), however, also took
place since PPG 16/15.
- A significant majority of the incomplete or inappropriately disseminated sites are associated with long-running aggregates extraction sites with multiple fieldwork interventions, regarded as 'active' by the relevant archaeological organisations, despite fieldwork running back to the early 1990s. Many are progressing towards publication by the relevant archaeological unit involved.
- Out of the total 132 projects, archives were located for 96 projects, or 73%. Archives were not located for the other 36 projects, 27%.

Item Type: Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cambridgeshire, cambridgeshire, review, DBA, dba, desk-based assessment, Desk-Based Assessment, gravel, gravels, gravel quarrying, aggregates, archaeology, site reports, 1163, report 1163, Report 1163, OAE report 1163
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: Hamilton
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2023 11:37
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2023 11:37
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/7064

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