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BroughtonProject Excavations2006to2007 Excavations2011to2013

Excavations 2008-2011


During the 2008-2011 seasons, work has continued at Broughton.

After establishing that the site contained settlement and burial evidence from throughout the Roman period, Phase 2 of the research began In July 2009. It was the intention to open a series of trenches to gradually join up the area between Trench 3 and Trench 4 x1 in order to better understand the occupation at Broughton, and put the site in context. This second phase is expected to end in 2013/14.

The Trench 4 extension 1 and a further extension 2 have been completed. On the eastern side of the site Trench 5 was excavated followed by Trench 5, extension 1. All trenches were characterised by limestone rubble spreads, probably the demolition deposit, or tumbled remains of a stone building which have been spread by the plough. Some of these areas concealed shallow wall foundations.

It is possible that an earlier structure existed before the stone building detected by resistivity survey. The excavations have found a series of post holes and possible beam slots across the site representing an earlier phase.

An apsidal ditch containing limestone rubble was discovered in Trench 4 X1, this also contained stake holes suggestive of supports for a wooden structure of some kind. This apsidal ditch cut some features from the earliest phase in the western side of the site, which were the fills of kiln/hearths of what appears to be a phase of small scale industrial activity. These features are present in both extension 1 and 2 of Trench 4. Two infant burials were discovered one of which was stratigraphically placed in the earliest phase and the other was in an un-stratified pit.

In Trench 5 and Trench 5 X1 there were no features indicating that the small scale industrial activity continued this far east in the site, although the fills of some features in the phase preceding the stone building contained charcoal and burnt daub. There were what appeared to be several phases of earlier post holes, beam slots and ditches for possible structures present in these trenches.

Post Excavation Analysis

C-14 Date
In 2009 we received £750 from a CBA Challenge Fund Application and used this partly to commission a C-14 date for the adult burial found in 2006. The result was a late Roman or early post Roman date of 260-540 Cal AD (95% probability SUERC-27258)
This burial was in the final phase of T3 and gives us a probable date range for the abandonment of the site.

Pottery Report
The group commissioned Jerry Evans to do a pottery analysis, half funded by the Challenge Funding, and half with money raised by the group. The report was received in January 2011. This will help us in the future to check our phasing and give us a chronology for the activity on site

The pottery spans from AD40 – AD 420 with a gradual increase in vessels up to AD290 which then declines down to AD420. We have learned from this that the assemblage is far from typical for a basic level rural site, with connections to Malton and the military. Therefore although Broughton is a basic level rural site, there is evidence of slightly higher status activity.

Gerry McDonnell visited us in 2010 and gave us his opinion regarding evidence for smithing activity. Although one of the hearths contained hammer scale and a small number of iron bars there is not enough material for analysis.

Bulk Samples
Also in 2010 we invited Andy Hammon, English Heritage Regional Science Advisor, to site who gave us advice on how to take bulk samples and process them with a view to discovering function of the site. One of the members of the team Steve Lawson made us a sieve that we could use for either wet or dry sieving to specifications recommended by Andy from Legge and Hacker, 2010, “ An efficient and Robust Sieveing Apparatus for Archaeological Work”, Journal of Field Archaeology Volume 35. We then followed a programme of sampling, wet sieving and flotation for all burnt and deep deposits.

More details of the excavation are included in the 3rd Interim Report attached below.

The pottery assessment has not been attached with the report here as there is now an Updated Pottery Assessment dated 2014 and included in the 4th Interim Report on the following page.

  Attachment Size Date Added
      Broughton 3rd Interim Report Appendices.pdf   1.2 MB   11/30/2014 8:48 pm
      Broughton Third Interim Report 2008_Part1.pdf   3.61 MB   11/28/2014 10:57 pm
      Broughton Third Interim Report 2008_Part2.pdf   2.03 MB   11/30/2014 8:48 pm

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