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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1295: summary

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Archaeological monitoring and excavation at Hanson Quarry, Maldon Road, Birch, Essex: April 2018
by Mark Baister
(with contributions from Stephen Benfield, Adam Wightman, Val Fryer, Julie Curl, Sarah Carter, Emma Holloway)

Date report completed: November 2018
Location: Hanson Quarry, Maldon Road, Birch, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 9197 1927
File size: kb
Project type: Monitoring and excavation
Significance of the results:

Summary. A programme of archaeological monitoring and excavation was carried out by Colchester Archaeological Trust at Hanson Quarry, Maldon Road, Birch, Essex in April 2018.

The level of disturbance from the demolished WWII airbase on the site was less in this phase of excavation than it had been in previous, adjacent phases. This allowed the positive identification of a Late Iron Age/early Roman field system, of which only one ditch had been observed previously.

Also uncovered during the archaeological work was a large Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age pit, possibly a waterhole, that contained pottery and the broken end of a Neolithic polished axe. The axe is clearly residual in the context and is probably the result of ritual deposition.

Overlaying the LIA/ER field system to the north of the site was a series of shallow medieval cultivation channels.