4.4.57 Thwing, East Yorkshire

Excavations at Thwing were undertaken annually between 1973-87 with the intention of examining the Bronze Age ringwork, although subsequently an extensive Middle Saxon cemetery and occupation evidence were discovered. There is, as yet, no definitive publication but the VASLE dataset was based upon that collected by Naylor (2004).

The site is located on the Wolds, in a focal position 13km from the east coast. The Middle Saxon cemetery, within the ringwork, was in use until the early/mid-9th century. There were 130 burials, a quarter in coffins, and very few furnished. At its western limit there was a foundation trench building, interpreted by the excavator as a mortuary chapel.

The outer rampart was probably topped by a wooden palisade, and the south-eastern entrance was used as a gateway. This area was metalled, and post-holes were found. Inside the earthwork, timber structures were constructed on the northern and eastern sides. These included a large post-hole building 11m x 22m, evidence of a hearth and a large SFB.

North of the earthwork, excavation of a crop-mark feature provided evidence of an enclosure with a palisade fence, and further timber halls. Ditches contained domestic debris and 9th- and 10th-century pottery. On the south-western side of the earthwork were two further Anglo-Saxon enclosures. A midden deposit from the ditch produced domestic debris, including animal bone, marine fauna, metalwork, pottery (including continental wares), lava quernstone fragments, and 8th- and 9th-century coinage.

Manby et al. (forthcoming) interpret the site as a high-status, possibly royal, administrative centre, with access to long-distance trade networks. The largest hall compares with those found on other high-status sites, and the location of the earthwork, overlooking the Great Wold Valley, may have provided the site with strategic significance.

Fingerprint charts for i) artefact date analysis, ii) artefact type analysis, iii) artefact metal analysis and iv) coins – date of production
Artefact date analysis Artefact type analysis Artefact metal analysis Coins - date of production


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