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Bronze Age Field System at Tower’s Fen, Thorney, Peterborough: Excavations at ‘Thorney Borrow Pit’ 2004-2005

Bronze Age Field System at Tower’s Fen, Thorney, Peterborough: Excavations at ‘Thorney Borrow Pit’ 2004-2005
Bronze Age Field System at Tower’s Fen, Thorney, Peterborough: Excavations at ‘Thorney Borrow Pit’ 2004-2005
Archaeological excavation of about 11ha of land at Tower's Fen, Thorney, Peterborough (England), investigated part of an extensive pattern of ditched enclosures and fields associated with several waterholes and two ponds. One large pit, which may have been a waterhole, yielded Early Bronze Age pottery and is radiocarbon dated to the terminal 3rd millennium BC. Two other dates from the ponds came out at around 1500-1300 BC. The other features were probably also Middle to Late Bronze Age although the limited quantity of pottery was not datable precisely. Waterlogged material recovered from the deeper features included most of an unusual wooden tub or bucket, as well as other pieces of worked wood. The palaeo-environmental evidence from pollen, plant macro-fossils, insects and charred plant remains indicated that the land supported a mosaic of woodland, scrub, arable fields, meadow and short grazed grassland. A wide variety of trees was present, particularly wet-loving species such as willow and alder, and there was abundant evidence for coppicing. Nearby excavations at Pode Hole, and the wider picture provided by plotted cropmarks, indicate that the site formed part of an extensive prehistoric landscape. It is suggested that the Bronze Age agricultural landscape developed piecemeal and was based upon a mixed arable and pastoral economy. This contrasts with Fengate and other landscapes of this period where large-scale land divisions have been related to intensive livestock management. The sparse evidence for contemporaneous settlement is typical of many sites of this period.
Archaeopress
Andrew, Mudd
e18e5631-be8b-4333-9b24-384bec110efa
Pears, Benjamin
36d04a0f-6948-4e68-8f60-3a2a54d70bd0
Richmond, Andy
8d39d422-9828-4566-9a1c-8b7ada65424d
Coates, Gary
42f1685b-c363-499c-9342-8f29d4520017
Andrew, Mudd
e18e5631-be8b-4333-9b24-384bec110efa
Pears, Benjamin
36d04a0f-6948-4e68-8f60-3a2a54d70bd0
Richmond, Andy
8d39d422-9828-4566-9a1c-8b7ada65424d
Coates, Gary
42f1685b-c363-499c-9342-8f29d4520017

Andrew, Mudd and Pears, Benjamin , Richmond, Andy and Coates, Gary (eds.) (2008) Bronze Age Field System at Tower’s Fen, Thorney, Peterborough: Excavations at ‘Thorney Borrow Pit’ 2004-2005 (BAR British Series, 471), vol. 471, Oxford. Archaeopress, 116pp.

Record type: Book

Abstract

Archaeological excavation of about 11ha of land at Tower's Fen, Thorney, Peterborough (England), investigated part of an extensive pattern of ditched enclosures and fields associated with several waterholes and two ponds. One large pit, which may have been a waterhole, yielded Early Bronze Age pottery and is radiocarbon dated to the terminal 3rd millennium BC. Two other dates from the ponds came out at around 1500-1300 BC. The other features were probably also Middle to Late Bronze Age although the limited quantity of pottery was not datable precisely. Waterlogged material recovered from the deeper features included most of an unusual wooden tub or bucket, as well as other pieces of worked wood. The palaeo-environmental evidence from pollen, plant macro-fossils, insects and charred plant remains indicated that the land supported a mosaic of woodland, scrub, arable fields, meadow and short grazed grassland. A wide variety of trees was present, particularly wet-loving species such as willow and alder, and there was abundant evidence for coppicing. Nearby excavations at Pode Hole, and the wider picture provided by plotted cropmarks, indicate that the site formed part of an extensive prehistoric landscape. It is suggested that the Bronze Age agricultural landscape developed piecemeal and was based upon a mixed arable and pastoral economy. This contrasts with Fengate and other landscapes of this period where large-scale land divisions have been related to intensive livestock management. The sparse evidence for contemporaneous settlement is typical of many sites of this period.

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Published date: 2008

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 454778
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/454778
PURE UUID: f16be5e1-676e-4f74-8953-cb850b487801

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Date deposited: 23 Feb 2022 17:35
Last modified: 23 Feb 2022 17:35

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Contributors

Author: Mudd Andrew
Author: Benjamin Pears
Editor: Andy Richmond
Editor: Gary Coates

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