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ETTON WOODGATE

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A two-phase Neolithic site at Etton Woodgate, located 80 metres west-north-west of the Etton causewayed enclosure and partly excavated in 1982-4. The site comprises an arc of ditch, curving round from the north-east towards the south-west, with a single gap on the southeast-facing side, opposite the causewayed enclosure. The site was separated from the causewayed enclosure by a relict stream bed. A series of small pits and postholes were found on the higher ground immediately to the west. Contents of these features included earlier Neolithic pottery and flints as well as fired clay and burnt stone. Although broadly contemporary with the causewayed enclosure, this phase of activity featured notable differences. For example, there were no decorated pottery sherds, in contrast to the assemblage recovered from the causewayed enclosure. A later phase at Etton Woodgate was associated with Beaker pottery and comprised two main features - a shallow hearth and a pit complex. There was also a surface spread of charcoal, burnt stones, fired clay and Beaker pottery. One of the pits contained a crouched inhumation.
Recent research into the dating of Early Neolithic enclosures has indicated that activity here began probably in 3800-3540 cal BC. It can be suggested that the ditch was cut probably in 3645-3525 cal BC. Since only samples from the base of the ditch have been radiocarbon dated, it is not possible to reliably estimate when the ditch went out of use nor for how long it was in use.

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