Repository logo

Neolithic and Bronze Age Settlement and Environmental Reconstruction at Prickwillow Road and the Relict Snail River, Isleham, Cambridgeshire

Change log


Gdaniec, Kasia 
Edmonds, Mark 
Wiltshire, Patricia 


A water supply pipeline was installed between Isleham and Ely in southern Cambridgeshire by Anglian Water between 1993 and 1996. Archaeological sites were found on the chalk dryland and its fen-edge at the eastern end of the pipeline, while none were found in the larger, fen-crossing stretch which by-passed the few known sites in this low-lying region. Two of the chalk sites - the Middle Bronze Age occupation site at Prickwillow Road and the Neolithic-Bronze Age occupation site at the confluence of relict palaeochannels of the River Snail, provided unequivocal evidence of the richness of the Isleham area sites, corroborated by surface surveys which demonstrated its favoured location for occupation since Meolithic times. Both sites contributed new information for fenland and wider studies: a well-preserved environmental sequence from the Snail palaeochannel with its attendant varied lithic scatter sites; a miniature antler bow from Prickwillow Road (from contexts yielding high quantities of domesticated cattle bones) - which challenges traditional interpretations of archery artefacts (usually recovered from funerary contexts and association with an individual) being warrior-related, but instead may symbolise hunting and, perhaps, the arena for social interaction in a society dependant on cattle wealth.



Is Part Of


Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

Publisher DOI

Publisher URL