Oxford Archaeology
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The Archaeology of Castle Hill

A Interim Summary Report on Excavations at Castle Hill, Little Wittenham
Summer Season 13th July to 5th September 2003

An interim summary report on this summer's excavations at Castle Hill, Little Wittenham is now available to download as a .pdf document.

The first excavation season ran for eight weeks from the 13th July to 5th September 2003, and recovered a wealth of evidence for occupation and activity on the hilltop from 6000 BC to the medieval period. The earliest evidence for occupation was provided by a scatter of flints left by Mesolithic hunter gatherers, while other flint tools, including an arrowhead, show that Neolithic farmers also visited the site between 4000 and 3000 BC.

A previously unknown hilltop enclosure ditch, identified by English Heritage geophysical survey in 2002, was investigated in several trenches and was firmly dated to the Late Bronze Age (around 1000 BC). The substantial defences of the Iron Age hillfort that replaced it were investigated for the first time, and contemporary pits and burials in the interior yielded a wealth of information about the lives of the Iron Age inhabitants.

The excavations also revealed copious and unexpected evidence for late Roman settlement and burial on the hilltop, and also medieval pits suggesting possible occupation in the 12th/13th century AD.

Post-excavation work is continuing on the finds made during this summer's excavation and a winter season of fieldwalking and geophysical survey has begun. If you would like get involved with the project contact denise.price@oxfordarch.co.uk.




Link to the Northmoor Trust website