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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 367: summary

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An archaeological excavation at the 'Skyline 120' business park, Great Notley, near Braintree, Essex: January-February 2006
by Holloway, B
(with contributions from Benfield, S; Boghi, F; Crummy, N; Fryer, V.)

Date report completed: 04/04/2006
Location: Great Notley, Essex
Map reference(s): TL73662171, TL74100264
File size: 3462 kb
Project type:
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Iron Age, enclosure, prehistoric enclosure, animal bone, Roman ditch, earthworks, loomweight, briquetage, small finds, lithics, human bone

Summary. An area of 0.68ha was soil-stripped and excavated at the 'Skyline 120' business park at Great Notley, near Braintree in Essex. The principal discovery was an enclosure, probably a farmstead, which was established in the Late Iron Age and enlarged by the addition of an outer ditch in the later 1st or early 2nd century AD. The farmstead probably continued in use into the 2nd century AD, when its east side was cut by a ditch on a different alignment. This probably indicates that the settlement had been abandoned by that time, and the land given over to agricultural or pastoral farming. Subsequent subdivision of the landscape is suggested by a field-boundary ditch which must be at least post 2nd century AD (but probably later) cut at right-angles to the 2nd-century Roman field ditch. Finds other than pottery were not plentiful, but the presence of loomweights, briquetage and structural clay suggest a domestic settlement based on an agricultural economy. Heavy plough damage probably accounts for the absence of any identifiable structures apart from a few pits and post-holes, the latter probably forming parts of fence lines. Glacial features (cut by the Late Iron Age/Roman enclosure ditches) were also identified.