Late Bronze Age pits and mini Ring Ditch, near Broom

Description of this historic site

Excavation in advance of road development uncovered Bronze Age pits, pottery, a small ring ditch containing a funeral pyre, and fragments of bronze cauldrons. The site was 300m north west of the weir at Broom.

Notes about this historic site

1 Trench 5 of the evaluation in advance of the building of the A435 Norton-Lenchwick Bypass revealed a pit which contained 499 sherds of Bronze Age pottery. This is an important find suggesting some abnormal function for the pit.
2 An open area excavation was carried out over the site of trench 5 . The later Bronze Age was represented by two unusual features. A large quantity (over 600) of unabraded sherds was recovered from a single clay lined pit which also contained many pot-boilers. It seems that this represents a ritual deposit. The second feature was a small ring ditch which enclosed the remains of a collapsed funerary pyre. Fragments of at least two bronze cauldrons were also found. There was no evidence for either a mound or an outer bank. The discovery of a pyre associated with cauldrons is unique in Britain, and indicates a high status cremation event.
3 Short interim report.
4 Late Bronze Age date given.
5 It is possible there were two episodes of Bronze Age Activity at Area E. The pit was found in virtual isolation and is therefore unconvincing as part of a settlement. Its specialised group of pottery forms is suggestive of feasting, and the absence of decoration and the inclusion of the smaller bowls indicate a date immediately post Deverel-Rimbury. The radiocarbon dates for the site believed to be a pyre are later in the middle of the 1st millenium BC therefore it is probable that a number of centuries seperated the events. The fragments of cremated bone collected probably came from a single individual.
6 Short report in WMA 37.

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