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Excavations at Hamhill, Somerset 2011


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Report

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Authors

Slater, Adam 

Abstract

This is the first of a three-year excavation over Britain's largest hillfort at Ham Hill, Somerset, in advance of a quarry extension for the extraction of Ham Stone. The project is led by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit and the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cardiff. Geophysical survey over the extraction area identified a large rectilinear enclosure, co-axial ditch system, areas of pitting and two circular anomalies, all confirmed during evaluation to be prehistoric in date. In 2011 the first phase of open area excavation targeted two swathes over the extraction area (Areas 1 and 4). This exposed features and deposits of Bronze Age to Medieval date, with surface (sub-soil) finds covering all periods from the later Mesolithic to the present. Main features include: Coaxial field system (Bronze Age or Early Iron Age?), including a fragmented stone macehead; a penannular gulley (diam. 12m), 66 pits (with two main clusters), part of the rectilinear enclosure with a southwest entrance, and various associated ditches forming a 'way' (Mid-Late Iron Age). Associated finds include 3 articulated or partially articulated skeletons in the enclosure ditch; 155 items of metalwork, with two coin silver staters, a lump of gold, an iron currency bar, tyre, latch lifter, bridle bit, spearhead, socketed knife and toothed saw; worked bone including a knife handle and cheekpiece; Glastonbury Ware pottery. Environmental finds included quantities of black mustard grain. Later ditches were of a possible ?Medieval date.

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Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

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