3.2.3 Period 3. Iron Age

Commentary on the Site Description (2008)

Overview | Enclosure ditch (inner) | Inner ditch recutting | Bank | Inner annexe | Palisade I | Gateway | Palisade II | Outer ditch | Internal structures | Pits | Iron Age structural discussion Bank

There are several indications that in Period 3.1 the inner ditch was provided with a bank internally, though this had been completely eroded away. Any clear indications in the ditch of preferential silting from one side or another were rare, but could perhaps be seen in cuttings 0305 and 0313 (not illustrated), where the ditches appeared to have silted predominantly from the inside edge. Almost every recut moved the line of the ditch outwards, and the first and second palisades also 'moved' towards the outer edge of the ditch. Both these observations might be taken to suggest that a bank was being eroded into, and over the inside edge of, the ditch. That visible part of the ditch would then tend to be recut, not the original, now obscured, alignment. The comparatively feature-free strip running inside, and parallel to, an inner ditch (most clearly visible in grid squares H4, J5 and H5/J5; Fig. 11) probably also represents the presence of such a bank. This strip also had a disproportionate share of animal burrows, which might well be explained by the preference of burrowing animals for a raised bank or mound of softer earth. The bank, thus inferred, would be about 4m wide, which was also the distance between the ditch and the southern butt ends of internal ditches 0520 and 0267, interpreted as successive boundaries of an inner annexe within the south-eastern corner of the main enclosure (Fig. 15). Ditch 0520 replaced 0267 and was set about 0.5m further away from the inner ditch (Fig. 11). It could, therefore, indicate that the bank was wider by this time, its base having also now spread rearwards by erosion.

If all the spoil for the bank came from the ditch, then assuming a width of 4m, it could hardly have stood more than a metre high. This would have constituted a minimal barrier unless provided with a palisade or hedge, for which, of course, no direct evidence survives. However, occasional postholes near the mid-line of the projected bank (e.g. 0205) might represent the position of a palisade.


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Last updated: Wed July 21 2010