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Archaeological Investigations at Gravel Digger's Farm, The Lots, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire

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A programme of geophysical survey, fieldwalking, metal detecting and open area excavations was undertaken by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit on land at Gravel Digger’s Farm Cottenham (TL489 696), previously the subject of a field assessment by the CAU. The geophysical survey successfully located a number of 18th and 19th century land drains of a local type called ‘bush drains’ and a single, presumably ancient ditch also recorded in the assessment. The fieldwalking and metal-detecting surveys repeated the results of the assessment, that little or no archaeological remains are present in the ploughsoil. The open area excavations allowed the single ditch and the bush drains to be sample excavated. In spite of the excavation of eight, one-metre-wide sections, no dating evidence was recovered from this ditch. On the basis of a similarity of alignment with putatively Roman fieldsystems to the west, the single ditch is tentatively assigned to the Roman period. It would appear that there was no domestic occupation and very little intensive agricultural use of this area during any archaeological or historical period.



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Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

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