"This is one of the most confusing digs I have seen. Wessex Archaeology is still evaluating the meaning of the various excavations and finds, therefore any comments I make are entirely provisional! More of the site to the east will be excavated within the next year or two. With thanks to the WA guides."
(See plan for current details)
The site is on the cusp of the TMA remit being late IA early Romano/British. Neolithic artifacts have been found but so far no trace of any houses etc.
A large ditch and bank were constructed in a (assumed) square or rectangular shape and several parallel drainage (?) ditches led to the lowest part of the site. Another, smaller, ditch was constructed with an "entrance" to the W. Outside this 5 or 6 postholes have been found. They don't seem to suggest a building, might they have been "totemic" in function?
The most obvious features of the site are the numerous "quarry pits". There seems, at present, no obvious explanation for them. What were the inhabitants digging for? Clay, flints, gravel or sand are possibilities as they appear to follow "seams" and were backfilled as soon as they were exhausted as there is no sign of weathering. Geofiz seems to be of little use as the underlying geology brings up too many anomalies.
Some cremation deposits have been found within the perimeter of the site which suggests native customs as the Romans usually had separate cemeteries outside.
The area seems to have abandoned for a considerable time (100years?) but re-occupied in later Roman times.
The former MOD buildings to the E (hence the site name) are being removed and excavations will re-commence when the site is cleared, these may discover the main settlement.
The whole site is to be developed as a housing estate, Avon Fields.
Guided tour only. Consult Wessex Archaeology for details.
Posted by jimit
17th October 2010ce