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The Archaeology of Castle Hill


Wittenhams 2004 Week 1

Two trenches were opened up south of Round Hill

Trench 13
This was dug north of Hill Farm to investigate the junction of two ditches found by geophysical survey in 2003. One was the north side of an enclosure, the other a curving ditch traced for around 600 m south of Round Hill and Castle Hill. Fortunately, both ditches contained finds, enabling us to date them.
The curving ditch appears to be Iron Age, as a group of horse jaws and part of a triangular clay loomweight were found in the top, plus a few sherds of Iron Age pottery. This suggests that the ditch may have been a boundary to the Early Iron Age settlement between it and the hillfort.

The enclosure ditch contained Roman pottery and roof tile, and had been recut twice, showing that it was in use for a considerable period of time. This suggests that the Roman settlement consisted of at least three separate farmsteads.
Trench 13 has now been completed and backfilled.

Right. View of Trench 13 (click to view larger image)



Horse jaw and loomwieght


Left. Photograph of horse jaws and loomweight. (click to view larger image)


Trench 14
This was opened up next to one of Time Team's trenches to excavate a sample of the Early Iron Age midden (dated to around 600 BC) exposed last year, and to look for an earlier Bronze Age buried horizon beneath it. The Bronze Age horizon is known from pottery found in Rhodes' 1940s excavation, and may date back before 2000 BC.
So far 3500 Iron Age finds have been recovered from this small trench, mostly potsherds and animal bones, but also including broken bone gouges, needles, chalk spindle whorls, quernstones, whetstones and other objects. The Time Team trenches show us the limits of the midden on the north, west and east, and an auger survey is underway to trace the extent of the midden on the south, south-west and south-east. Excavation continues.

Right : Some of the finds from trench 14 (click to view larger image)

Showing spread of finds. (click to view larger image)
Above. Trench 14 : Showing spread of finds. (click to view larger image)
some of the finds from trench 14



Link to the Northmoor Trust website