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ETON WICK CAUSEWAYED ENCLOSURE

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The site of an Early Neolithic causewayed enclosure at Eton Wick. It lies on gravels less than 1 km from the present north bank of the Thames. Its identification was confirmed by small-scale excavation and fieldwalking in 1984-5. Air photographs show three concentric arcs of causewayed ditch. A narrow feature between the closely spaced middle and outer ditches may be a palisade. To the north this follows the line of a tangential ditch with at least one causeway, which joins the middle ditch. No complete circuits are visible, at least partly because of alluvium and later activity. The south-west side may have been formed by a stream which runs directly into the Thames.
The cropmarks were plotted and interpreted by RCHME in 1996 as part of the Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic Project. Assuming a regular shape and a complete enclosure, the area enclosed would have been roughly 4 hectares. The inner curved ditch is 100 metres long; the outer lies 30 to 40 metres east and is 200 metres long. The middle and outer ditches remain unexcavated. Other features on excavation were proved to be Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age in date. The excavations recovered lithic and ceramic material which confirmed the Neolithic date of the causewayed enclosure. Recent research into the radiocarbon dating of causewayed enclosures suggests that the construction of the inner ditch probably occurred in 3520-3455 cal BC.

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