In 1992 a section was cut through Grey Ditch at Bradwell in order to accommodate a pipeline. In addition to the earthwork bank itself [see SMR 2220], a number of features were identified that had been sealed by the pre-earthwork ploughsoil. These included seven shallow pits, several containing pieces of worked flint and chert. There were also fifteen postholes or stakeholes, most lying within the southernmost 6m of the excavation, where they included part of a roughly circular setting, perhaps the foundations of a prehistoric round-house. There were also several stakeholes with blackened fills suggestive of the former existence of a central hearth. Numerous prehistoric artefacts came from pre-bank contexts. These included some late Neolithic pottery, including several sherds of decorated Peterborough Ware. Flint and chert items included 131 retouched tools, 67 cores and 36 core-rejuvenation flakes, the latter types indicating knapping on site. Datable items ranged from Earlier Mesolithic to Later Neolithic. (1)
More than 100 pieces of worked chert and flint were retrieved from the Grey Ditch ploughed buried soil, while the top of the underlying clay substratum held in an excess of 1000 similar artefacts, some from features cut in, all apparently truncated by the ploughsoil. These deposits had been protected by a build up of possibly medieval ploughsoil against the rear slope of the bank. The chipped stone included a mixture of items from the late Mesolithic to around 9000 - 7000 years ago, although Blake Acre has provided no independent dating. Microliths may have been manufactured on site, which has been suggested as a base camp for a mobile population. The Neolithic is identified here by a few sherds of Peterborough Ware and several flint tools, showing a prolonged but probably intermittent activity at this favoured spot. A scatter of stake and post holes seems to imply a degree of permanence to occupation at some stages, but the dating of the structural features is difficult. (2)
Article in serial: Guilbert, G. 2013. 'Before Grey Ditch: Mesolithic and Later Prehsitoric Artefacts and Settlement Features Excavated in 1992 at Blake Acre, Bradwell', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 133, pages 1-113.
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Centred SK 17172 81783 (19m by 29m)
BRADWELL, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
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Jan 12 2016 10:56AM
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