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Archaeological Excavations at Greetham Quarry, Greetham, Rutland



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Between January and March 2006, a team form the Cambridge Archaeological Unit conducted an archaeological excavation at land adjacent to Greetham Quarry, Greetham, Rutland (centred SK 930 149). The work was commissioned by Mark G Oldridge on behalf of M. Dickenson Ltd. in advance of the quarry extension. The excavation revealed a narrow swathe of Iron Age occupation, encompassing both open and partially enclosed settlement components. Although a Neolithic and Bronze Age presence was indicated by residual flint work, sustained prehistoric occupation at Greetham only commenced during the latter stages of the Early Iron Age. During this period, a small settlement comprising two single-phase roundhouses and an isolated four-post structure was constructed. The roundhouses were framed by a loosely bounded enclosure to the west, and a long segmented boundary ditch to the east. Together these ditches bisected the development area, creating a narrow corridor of settlement features. A small but important group of plain late Early Iron Age ceramics were recovered from one of the roundhouses, together with a rubbing stone, and a burnt bone weaving comb. During the Middle Iron Age the settlement developed along the foot-print of the earlier boundaries. The western enclosure was re-cut and periodically re-worked, whilst a small new trapezoidal enclosure was constructed on the western end of the former segmented ditch line. This enclosure bounded an area 0.02ha in extent, and was re-worked on at least one occasion. Its function was unclear, though it may have encircled a structure or served as a stock coral. The area around the trapezoidal enclosure became the focus of the Middle Iron Age settlement, with pits in its vicinity yielding an array of objects, some of which appear to have been formally deposited. Finds from these pits included dumps of Scored Ware pottery, a complete rotary quern, a minimum of 11 triangular loomweights, and several complete iron objects, possibly agricultural tools or items of personal adornment. Beyond the enclosure four further discrete pit groups were located, all producing Scored Ware pottery.



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Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

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