Projects: Bassingham



Bassingham

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Why We Went There

Newark Road, Bassingham lies to the southwest of Bassingham and is centred on grid reference 908/596. The property is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Vickers and their son, Matthew, is a member of the Farndon Archaeological Research Institute (FARI).

The Vickers family was puzzled as to why they had recovered large quantities of pottery shards from several vegetable plots in the garden. The pottery dated from Romano-British times through into the early, mid and late medieval periods.

An aerial photograph of the property showed very faint traces of what appeared to be a double ditch located further east and closer to the family's home. Matthew invited the Institute to investigate.

What We Did

Between 26th of September and 19th December 1999 an archaeological evaluation was undertaken at the west end of the garden on the east side of the River Witham.

Following permission granted by the Vickers, a dowsing survey was used to identify possible archaeological features and three evaluation trenches were excavated. The investigation was carried out to physically test the existence of early occupation on the site and to establish a chronological sequence for occupation.

The evaluation trenches identified part of a ditch system that had immediately to its east a small bank topped with a double row of postholes. Behind the postholes other less substantial post impressions were recorded.

The bank, postholes and impressions were placed over and, in part, cut through what appeared to be the foundation of a building containing occasional fragments of daub.

As the pottery is still awaiting identification from specialists, a time scale for this activity cannot be given, however similar features have been recorded at Tamworth dating to the late 10th century.

Conclusions

The conclusions drawn indicate early settlement, with several changes of land usage. Completion of the pottery analysis will enable us to establish a chronological sequence for occupation and better interpret the settlement activity.

What Next?

The conclusions drawn from the excavation of the evaluation trenches indicate that the site may contain further archaeological features that require investigation. The next logical step is to excavate further trenches this year in order to develop our understanding of the stages of occupation and more accurately interpret the type of settlement.

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