Northern zone, Open Area 30 (west of Road 1) - Period 2B

Open Area 30 (Figure 48) is a southward-tapering enclosure defined to the north and west by boundary ditches 25016 and 25017 and to the east by 25039. Its interior contains few features, limited to occasional large circular pits and likely fenceline structures associated with the entry points into it and probably indicative of livestock control.

Period summary view | Open areas, enclosure systems and roads on the lower terrace

Gully/ditch 25030 (Group 153)

Gully/ditch 25030 (segs 9552, 9554, 9711, 9721, 9724, 9857, 9942, 9944) is a narrow, NE-SW aligned, linear feature with an irregular terminal at its northern end, its southern end removed by an early Roman pit. Located within OA30, it runs parallel with ditches 25016 and 25017 for 38m. Offset by some 5m, its northern end broadly coincides with the north side of the gap in the boundary. It may therefore have a channelling function, allowing livestock either to be herded either down the side of OA30 or into the main enclosure itself.

Much of the course of gully/ditch 25030 is overlain by early Roman gravel surface 9603, which was not wholly removed during excavation, and the southernmost 9m of its course is particularly obscured. Measuring only 0.6-1.0m wide and 0.13-0.30m deep, its fill contains only animal bone and undiagnostic LIA pottery.

Slot 25012 (Group 2086)

Slot 25012 (segs 9432, 9433) is technically outside OA30, but extends in front of the entranceway in the western boundary, between ditches 25016 and 25017. Although lacking established terminals, this slot is at least 8m long. It may relate to a gate or hurdle blocking this point of access.

Gully 25239 (Group 289)

Gully 25239 (segs 8244, 9273) is a 7m length, running on an ENE-WSW alignment. It is 0.65m wide and 0.3m deep, with a rounded terminal at its west end, but later pitting removes its eastwards extent. It runs parallel to, and 8m to the south of, the northern enclosure boundary ditch 25016, and is conjectured to adjoin the eastern boundary ditch 25039. This gully may indicate the presence of a small square sub-enclosure in the north-east corner of the enclosure. Particularly if an entrance is originally present at the meeting of ditches 25016 and 25039, a holding pen for livestock might be plausible.

Pitting (Groups 290, 291, 298)

Although sparse, the pits occupying the OA30 interior are mostly large and, with one exception, circular.

Pit 9550 (Group 290) is located close to the western enclosure entrance, though on the opposite side of gully/ditch 25030. Its fill contains small quantities of pottery, animal bone, daub and a loomweight fragment.

Pits 8225, 8264, 8266, 8285 (Group 291) form a small cluster toward the north-east corner of the enclosure. 8255 is a particularly small example of a Period 2B pit. 8266 is a more typical, large and round, pit. 8264 impinges slightly upon fenceline gully 25239, but could perhaps be dug alongside the standing structure. It is the only irregularly shaped pit in this vicinity. All these pits contain LIA pottery, though pit 8225 also includes a small quantity of tile. Pit 8264 contains a larger quantity of tile (600g) that may suggest a post-conquest date, at least for the final infilling.

Pits 8274, 8282 (Group 298) are distinguished here as they are located on the northern boundary of OA30, cutting the fill of ditch 25016 and inter-cut with one another. Although they may indicate that the ditch itself is defunct, these pits may be placed on a still active boundary. Both large and round, they contain large quantities of pottery and small amounts of animal bone and daub. Pit 8274 includes a ceramic spindlewhorl (SF6054) and 8282 a loomweight fragment (SF7722).


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