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Alverstone: Finds


postsS This is probably the area that most desperately requires post ex work. Although all finds have received conservation to date, no funds are available at present to start the important analysis. Some of the conservation measures, originally short term, are now stretching resources and good will. As an example; some 1840 pieces of wood were 3D recorded, lifted and stored, temporarily in holding tanks on site. Of those wood remains, 345 pieces were worked stakes or posts. Worked wood has either been conserved as whole pieces or 100% sampled under directives from Flag Fen where the wood is now being held.

WattleS Other wooden remains are more fragile, such as areas of wattle, which may have daub attached. Analysis of possible daub from samples collected is needed to help explain the possible uses of different areas: causeway or platform?

At present, the site has been interpreted as having between 5 and 7 phases of construction, ranging from Iron Age to Saxon; based entirely on alignment and construction changes. Many samples were collected from suitable phase layers, for C14 dating, in the hope that interpretation may become less speculative.

The artefactual remains from the site are fairly limited; ranging from metal to glass, ceramic to organic. The majority of the finds are metal work; mostly in the form of spear tips and ferrules, and closely followed in quantity by knife blades and a single rivet off a Roman Uniform. The majority of the finds were retrieved by volunteer metal detectorists, which tends to skew the finds in favour of metal. Again post ex is needed to analyse the finds. All that is possible at the moment is a visual description and guess work. A sample of the finds is included below:

HandaxeS The oldest find is a chert hand axe located in the sand bar downstream but adjacent to the cambered cobble surface.

axeS In terms of age, the next oldest find is probably a bronze axe head, found again on the sand bar.


The only dateable find from the site, so far is this Nummus of Magnus Maximus, AD 383 – 388. A rare issue with sufficient wear to suggest it may have been discarded as late as AD 400 (Malcolm Lyne).


One of the spear points that were found, again associated with the sand bar. Any information on type would be appreciated.

The most enigmatic find of all was a coppiced wand, retrieved from the mud beneath the cobbles at the junction between the possible Iron Age causeway and the Roman causeway. WandS The wand is some 45cm in length by 2cm diameter. One end has been sharpened to a point whilst the other has been lost at some point in the past. At the mid point of the wand two carvings are present on opposite sides. carvingsS

To date, a parallel for this piece has yet to be found and discussion would be welcomed on this matter.

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