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An Archaeological Assessment at Lordship Lane, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire 1993

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Butler, Robert 


An investigation of a 7.2 hectare area on the northern/northwestern periphery of Cottenham village was undertaken by the CAU on behalf of Mr V Donnelly, and in accordance with a brief set by the Archaeology Office of the Cambridgeshire County Council. The investigation included an earthwork survey of the field to the south of the Crowlands manor moated site (a Scheduled Ancient Monument). A series of earthworks were record, some demonstrably modern, whilst others may be antiquities or may be relatively recent in origin. A larger area to the southwest of the moated site was investigated by a sequential programme of test pits, test stations and trial trench excavations. The test pit soil sampling programme has contributed to the continuing refinement of the CAU’s suite of sampling strategies. The test stations and trial trench excavations revealed a pattern of early Medieval field boundary ditches, on a northeast-southwest alignment, apparently continuing the pattern of plots still evident in modern boundaries of tenements fronting onto the north side of the High Street. This is superimposed upon and earlier, probably mid to late Saxon pattern of ditches and gullies (on an east-west alignment). The Saxon phase is a potentially important contribution to our knowledge of the origin and development of settlement along the Fen-edge. The nature of the Saxon presence can not be determined on the basis of the investigation. The presence of mid-Saxon pottery, which is normally quite rare, may be used to argue that there is a Saxon domestic presence within the area investigated or immediately adjacent to it. However, in strictly quantitative terms the number of artefacts is small. No trace was recovered of a prehistoric phase of occupation, although the presence of prehistoric pottery and flints is consistent with the use of the area for agriculture and pasture, the artefacts being deposited through normal manuring processes.



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Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

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