Lower terrace (middle), trackway/Open Area 5 - Period 2A

Open Area 5 describes a linear enclosed area, perhaps in reality a substantial ditched trackway or droveway, which extends east-west across the lower terrace (Figure 8). It also serves to divide the lower terrace into two differing enclosure systems to either side of it - to the north and to the south.

The northern side of OA5 is marked by ditches 25231 and 16055, the southern by 25224 and perhaps 25121/25250, defining a 'corridor' some 12-14m wide. Much of its course is somewhat conjectural, though it is clear that none of the ditches of the enclosure systems to either side intrude upon it.

Period 2A features that are judged to be contemporary with/occupy the interior of OA5 are described in Lower terrace (middle).

Period summary view | Open areas | Principal features on lower terrace

Northern boundary ditches 25231 (Group 6) and 16055 (Group 2)

The northern boundary of OA5 is conjectured from the shared alignment of ditches 25231 (Group 6) and 16055 (Group 2). Ditch 25231 (segs 9660, 9689, 9703, 9776, 9777) is a slight, fragmentary feature and most apparent at its western terminal, which can be traced on an east-north-east alignment for at least 5.00m. Ditch 16055, a 4.00m length of which was exposed, lay 95m further east and its association with 25231 may be tenuous. However, the similarity of alignment between these two features and the fact that the northern enclosure ditches (particularly ditch 25024) stop short of their line does suggest a landscape division in this position.

Most of the pottery in 25231 (seg. 9689) is 1st century BC or early 1st century AD in date, though the assemblage also includes a few intrusive sherds dating up to the end of the 1st century AD.

South boundary ditch 25251 (Group 9)

Substantial WSW-ENE aligned ditch 25251 (segs 6851, 16038) lies some 12-14m south of, and parallel with, the projected line of northern boundary ditch 25231. Its western investigated portion underlies the line of later Road 1 (Period 2B). At this terminal point (seg. 6851) the ditch is 2.00m wide by 0.35m deep. Further east, it is 2.3m wide and 0.63m deep (seg. 16038). These excavated segments being only c. 20m apart, its overall course further east and west is somewhat conjectural. Both contain pottery of a Late Iron Age date.

Ditches 25121/25250 and 25224 (Group 21)

Parallel to ditch 25251, and to each other, ditches 25121/25250 and 25224 (Group 21) are located immediately south alongside segment 6851. Vestigial remains of what may be a small upcast bank (deposit 6977) run along part of the south side of ditch 25250. Both ditches are slight, at less than 1m wide, but relatively deep at 0.5m. Significantly, they also extend below later Road 1, just north of its junction with Road 4. Only centimetres apart, it is likely that the ditches represent two phases of the same boundary, but there was no indication of the sequence. These features are clearly related to ditch 25251 in some way, but whether they represent precursors or modifications to this feature cannot be determined. The only dating evidence present is grog-tempered pottery of a general Late Iron Age date (6865, 13680, 18228). Their presence does, however, add weight to the notion of a significant boundary at this location in the lower terrace landscape.


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