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MONUMENT NO. 458690

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A multiperiod site comprising Neolithic occupation, two Bronze Age ring ditches, an early Iron Age settlement, 6th/7th century cemetery and Medieval field system. Excavations during the 1970s and 1980s have revealed four main phases of occupation. Late Neolithic activity was indicated by a large pit containing grooved-ware sherds, a small circular pit and two shallow circular features. Bronze Age features include two ring ditches and a scatter of pottery to the south-west of ring ditch one. This ring ditch was totally excavated and consisted of a flat-bottomed ditch up to 0.6m. deep. Ring-ditch two was sectioned and found to be a v-shaped ditch 0.8m. deep and 2.0m. wide. No Bronze Age features were found inside either ring ditch; the pottery was of Middle Bronze Age date. Early Iron Age settlement was indicated by about 45 small pits and post-holes, and two ditches, probably representing land enclosure. No definite structures could be identified. The greater part of a pagan Anglo-Saxon cemetery of the late 6th or 7th century was discovered adjacent to the Bronze Age ring-ditches. The excavation revealed thirty graves, and four cremations in urns. The southern limit of the cemetery was located, and the cemetery thinned out to the west; the other limits were not located. The grave goods were consistent with a small settlement cemetery. After the cemetery went out of use, a medieval field system developed. A trench was extended a further 30 metres to the south-east from the 1978 excavations, but no additional Saxon inhumations were discovered. However, a complex of 12th/13th century gullies and ditches are consistent with the 1978 evidence of suburban development of the Bargates area. Watching briefs identified ditches on similar alignments to the west of the site.

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