Northern hinterland, Open Area 38 - Period 2B

Open Area 38 (Figure 51) is defined by boundary ditches 25188 to the north and 25272 to the west. Slight ditch/gully 25100 further south may well indicate the continuation of its western boundary to the terrace edge, which constitutes its southern limit. The eastern extent of this land entity is undetermined owing to the presence of a modern boundary ditch and seasonal flooding problems further east. However, it is suspected that the watercourse in fact extends northwards through the eastern edge of Excavation Area W. Indeed, a palaeochannel was identified within the 1994 Langford Road site (Langton and Holbrook 1997).

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

Like OA37, OA38 may possess a marginal character and function, falling between the settlement proper and its surrounding field system. However much of its exposed interior is uninvestigated because of obscuring silt (flood deposit?) or else modern flood water. Investigation along the northern and western peripheries of the enclosure only records the presence of generally small pits.

Pitting (Groups 322, 323)

Pitting along the northern and western peripheries of OA38 (425, 462, 498, 505, 507, 518, 522, 633, 636, 647 Group 322). These small and rounded pits display little patterning. The middle of the enclosure was little investigated, much of it being masked by a silt deposit, and it is possible that these pits represent only part of a wider scatter.

Pits 3518, ?3609, 3613, 3679 and 3780 (Group 323) are located at the perceived south-western corner of the enclosure and may be part of the general swathe of pitting along the foot of the terrace.

Pit 442 (also Group 323), is significantly larger that the other OA38 examples, being in excess of 2.5m wide.

In general, finds assemblages are fairly small and limited, with pottery, daub and briquetage forming the bulk. Pit 442 is also exceptional in this regard, having a larger and more varied assemblage. Animal bone is all but absent owing to the highly acidic nature of the gravels on this upper river terrace.

Among these pits, specifically along the northern edge of OA38, pits 537 and 581 contain charcoal-rich fills and small quantities of burnt human bone - presumably constituting the interment of pyre debris. As such, these pits are regarded as being pyre-related (Group 317) and are described with other similar pits in OA40.


Internet Archaeology is an open access journal based in the Department of Archaeology, University of York. Except where otherwise noted, content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY) Unported licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that attribution to the author(s), the title of the work, the Internet Archaeology journal and the relevant URL/DOI are given.

Terms and Conditions | Legal Statements | Privacy Policy | Cookies Policy | Citing Internet Archaeology

Internet Archaeology content is preserved for the long term with the Archaeology Data Service. Help sustain and support open access publication by donating to our Open Access Archaeology Fund.