Monument record MNL 622 - Prehistoric Settlement, Sainsburys site, Recreation Way

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Evaluation and excavation identified


Grid reference Centred TL 7131 7456 (144m by 131m)
Map sheet TL77SW


Type and Period (15)

Full Description

Excavation by evaluation trenching (S1) in 2009 followed by full excavation in 2010 revealed N & E sides of a substantially ditched Iron Age enclosure with a quantity of internal features. Also other multi-period finds and features, including human remains and (Roman?) burials.
The N-S alignment of the IA enclosure ditch was mirrowed by a parallel ditch in the medieval period suggesting the earlier line remained visible or continued as a property boundary.
Details of evaluation in (S2), of full excavation in preparation.
2010: The river valley. Cut into the slope of a chalk cliff were a number of Roman quarry pits up to 3.5m in diameter, and in the backfill of one of them was an adult inhumation burial also of Roman date. Large quantities of un-butchered animal bone, predominantly cattle, had been dumped into the alluvium, probably as waste from an as yet unidentified industrial process. A series of small Roman fields or stock enclosures may suggest seasonal grazing of water meadows adjacent to the river. These were sealed by later Roman to early medieval peat deposits which contained evidence of hemp retting. The peat was in turn sealed by substantial medieval chalk dumps interpreted as land reclamation.
The dry ground. This contained a dense concentration of remains dating from the Bronze Age through to the post-medieval period. The earliest feature was a substantial Bronze Age pit (3m in diameter, 2m deep) containing large quantities of pottery, including collared urn fragments, and disarticulated human remains. Three large Middle to Late Iron Age ditches, up to 10m wide and 5m deep, were also present. These probably enclosed a substantial area to the W of the site. Contemporary features indicative of settlement activity included smaller enclosures, storage pits, two roundhouse drip gullies and numerous postholes. A hearth of probable Middle Iron Age date was cut into the fills of one enclosure ditch.
Evidence for Roman activity on the dry ground was limited to enclosures similar to those identified in the river valley, quarry pits along the river valley edge and residual pottery within the tertiary fills of the Iron Age ditches. In addition, five inhumations of probable Roman date were cut into the upper fills of the Iron Age enclosure ditches.
A substantial enclosure or boundary ditch of Late Saxon/early medieval date was revealed on a broadly similar alignment to the Iron Age enclosures. Contemporary features indicated settlement activity to the W and industrial activities to the E. These features included potential post-built structures, smaller boundary or enclosure ditches, storage and rubbish pits, wells and a probable lime-burning kiln. (S3, S4)

Also note significant Iron Age features (including enclosure) over river at Barton Mills - see BTM 040.

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <S1> Article in serial: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. Archaeology in Suffolk 2009, PSIAH 42 (2), 2010, 214.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Brett, M.. 2009. Archaeological Evaluation Report, Land at Mildenhall, Suffolk.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Havard T and Holt R. 2013. Land at Recreation Way, Mildenhall, Suffolk.
  • <S4> Unpublished document: Havard, T. and Holt, R. and Alexander, M.. 2010. Excavations at Recreation Way, Mildenhall, Suffolk in 2010.

Finds (14)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Oct 19 2022 2:47PM

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