Monument record THS 029 - Late Saxon occupation activity, Land South of Norton Road

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Evaluation and excavation have identified features radiocarbon dated to the late Anglo-Saxon period, including a possible building, pits, gullies and post holes, suggestive of a farmstead and outying agricultural features (S2) Evaluation and Excavation were wrongly given the code THS 031


Grid reference Centred TL 9253 6538 (602m by 340m)
Map sheet TL96NW


Type and Period (16)

Full Description

2017: Geophysical Survey / Evaluation idntified a low density and low complexity of ditches and pits scattered across the site. Prehistoric flintwork and pottery, as well as undated fired clay and fire-cracked flint, provided evidence of prehistoric occupation. A number of undated pits were interpreted as possible hearths/cooking pits. A Late Saxon/medieval refuse pit in the W of the site was suggestive of settlement occupation within the vicinity, although no direct evidence for buildings was encountered. An undated, possibly structural, gully and post-hole found nearby, however, may have been associated. A number of recorded post-medieval ditches directly corresponded with field boundaries depicted on early and mid-19th-century maps (S1-2).

2018: The recovery of residual Mesolithic to Early Bronze Age worked flint and occasional pottery fragments of Neolithic to Early Iron Age date provides limited evidence for a transitory presence in the landscape at this time. A small number of undated pits with charcoal-rich deposits and signs of in situ burning have been interpreted as fire pits/hearths and may have been related to prehistoric land use.

Evidence of Roman activity was limited to a small quantity of heavily abraded pottery. Although found to be residual in later features, this material attests to some form of land use in the wider landscape during the Roman period.

All archaeological features encountered within excavation Area 2, in the south-west of the site, were initially and provisionally dated to the Late Saxon period based on a small quantity of Late Saxon pottery and the shared alignments and spatial distribution of features. This date has since been qualified by a programme of radiocarbon dating analysis. An area 2 ditch segment provided the radiocarbon dating analysis with date ranges of 689-878cal AD and 886-988cal AD at 95% probability. In view of the other Area 2 dates, the latter date obtained from the animal bone sample would perhaps seem the most consistent and therefore reliable – late 9th to late 10th century AD. The similarly orientated ditches are suggestive of the division/enclosure of the landscape, whilst several short, parallel gullies, postholes and clusters of pits are suggestive of a focus of occupation, such as a small farmstead, possibly constituting the remains of a building and indicative of associated outlying activity. The artefactual material recovered from these features was particularly limited, comprising small quantities of pottery, fired clay, including structural daub, animal bone and charred plant remains. Two further, seemingly isolated, pits in Area 1 provide further evidence of Late Saxon land use.

No remains indicative of land use during the medieval period were identified, except for a single sherd of 12th- to 14th-century pottery considered residual within a later feature. Limited post-medieval/modern remains, comprising ditches, an animal burial pit and a possible quarry pit, are indicative of agricultural use of the landscape, with several ditches corresponding with field boundaries depicted on historic maps dating to the early 19th century onwards (S3).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Article in serial: Minter, F., Rolfe, J. and Saunders, A.. 2019. Archaeology in Suffolk 2018, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Heard, K.. 2018. Archaeological Evaluation: Land to the south of Norton Road, Thurston.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Archaeology South East. 2020. Archaeological Excavation: Land South of Norton Road, Thurston.

Finds (17)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Sep 14 2022 2:48PM

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