Monument record THS 031 - Geophysical anomalies, Iron Age, Roman, Saxon and Post Medieval features on Land north of Norton Road

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Geophysical survey identified anomalies including pits, relic field boundaries, and a possible trackway. Excavaions identified Iron Age, Roman, Saxon and Post Medieval features on Land north of Norton Road.


Grid reference Centred TL 9238 6576 (367m by 594m)
Map sheet TL96NW


Type and Period (13)

Full Description

November 2017: The detailed fluxgate gradiometer survey recorded a variety of geophysical anomalies, including those indicative of archaeological pits, relic field boundaries and a linear area interpreted as a potential trackway. Anomalies of geological origin were also prospected (S1).

January 2019: Archaeological evaluation partially confirmed the results of the preceding geophysical survey. Limited evidence for Early to Middle Bronze Age activity was encountered in the southeast corner of the site in the form of a small pit containing a fragment of pottery of this period, as well as a flint of uncertain date. Middle to Late Iron Age activity was recorded in the southern half of the site, in the form of a number of pits and post holes, while adjoining sherds from a large storage vessel were recovered from the field surface in the northern half of the site. A number of historic field boundary ditches were observed across the site, matching historic mapping and corresponding to strong geophysical anomalies. A large quarry pit partially exposed in the central part of the site is likely indicative of localised gravel extraction. Of note are fragments of a previously disturbed inhumation burial of likely Iron Age-Roman date incorporated within two separate backfill deposits. No evidence for burial was notes elsewhere on the site and while the quarry pit may have cut through an earlier grave it is possible that the skeletal material is derived from off-site and was collected up with the other domestic waste, including a large assemblage of animal bone, and deposited in the pit at the point of backfilling. The combined finds and environmental evidence suggest some potential for settlement activity within the wider area during the Iron Age. However, there is no clear evidnece for any form of intensive or extensive settlement activity within the site itself (S2).

June 2019: Archaeological excavation excavation of five targeted areas. An earlier evaluation and excavation identified a low level of activity within the site during the earlier prehistoric period, represented by the surface find of a Mesolithic tranchet adze, a small posthole of Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age date and a pit that produced fragments of Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age collared urn vessels. A large assemblage of charred hazelnut shells was also recovered from the pit with a radiocarbon date producing an Early Bronze Age date for the material. A large quantity of well-preserved fragments from a Middle Iron Age vessel was recovered from the topsoil. However, no features were subsequently identified in an area centred on the findspot. Early Anglo-Saxon activity was encountered in the form of a cluster of mostly shallow plough-truncated pits. Of particular note was a large assemblage of animal bone recovered from a pit that possibly represents waste disposal following feasting or some other forms of communal event, with selective cuts of meat chosen for consumption. This would be highly unusual for a site of this date and given the lack of a clear settlement focus within the site in contrast to the seemingly high-status nature of the meat consumed in the possible (S3).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Schofield, T.. 2017. Geophysical Survey Report: Land north of Norton Road, Thurston.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Moosbauer, A.. 2019. Archaeological Evaluation Report: Land at Norton Road, Thurston.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Moosbauer, A.. 2020. Archaeological Excavation Report - Land at Norton Road, Thurston, Suffolk.

Finds (15)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Feb 23 2023 1:29PM

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