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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 450: summary

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Neolithic and Roman remains on the Lufkins Farm reservoir site, Great Bentley, Essex October-November 2007
by Howard Brooks and Ben Holloway
(with contributions from N. Crummy, S. Benfield, H. Martingell, V. Fryer, E. Hogarth)

Date report completed: December 2007
Location: Great Bentley, Essex
Map reference(s): TM09752215 (c)
File size: 691KB kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results:
Keywords: cropmarks, prehistoric flint, neolithic, prehistoric enclosure, roman building

Summary. The Tendring peninsula's archaeological potential is defined by extensive areas of cropmarks, very few of which have been excavated. In advance of an application to construct an agricultural reservoir, a group of important cropmarks (including a ring-ditch and a potential Neolithic enclosure) was excluded from the application site in order to protect them. An evaluation by 84 trial-trenches revealed thinly-spread activity ranging from the Neolithic to the Roman period, discounting modern field boundaries. The most important archaeological feature was a Neolithic pit containing at least four early Neolithic bowls, associated with flints, burnt flints and conglomerate stones. This pit group may be associated with the potential Neolithic enclosure, which lies 25m to the east. Other prehistoric features and finds, principally Neolithic, occur sporadically across the evaluation site, but not at a density to suggest intensive or long-lived activity. A Roman field system separated the area occupied by the earlier monuments from Roman fields and paddocks, in one of which was a possible Roman agricultural structure.