Iron Age comb found at Brackley, Northamptonshire

Part of an Iron Age bone comb recovered from a small beamslot that may relate to a weaving structure
Part of an Iron Age bone comb recovered from a small beamslot that may relate to a weaving structure

A large forty-three trench evaluation carried out by ULAS off Thurweston Road, Brackley was very much hampered by the weather conditions during January and February. James Harvey reports that concentrated Mid-Late Iron Age settlement activity was recorded on the higher ground within the northern area of the site that included possible enclosure ditches, a roundhouse gully and possible weaving structures. There was no evidence that the site continued in use into the Roman period but there does appear to be some re-use on the site during the Early Anglo-Saxon period. A single Anglo-Saxon pit was excavated that contained an unusual collection of artefacts including a small iron knife blade, broken pottery that had been severely burnt and human bones consisting of the small unfused long bones from an infant. It seems likely that these artefacts could represent evidence of a deliberate structured deposition. The geophysical survey suggested that further pits were located close to this feature suggesting that the Saxon activity may be more widespread.

Beyond the northern area the land dropped away considerably south-eastwards across the site and the archaeological activity become more sporadic. The southern end of the site was located close to the Great River Ouse. Here Extensive fluvial deposits were recorded that may date to the Iron Age and Roman periods. Evidence of pitting that dated to the Mid-Late Iron Age was recorded in association with these river deposits and may relate to specialised activities rather than indicating actual settlement activity on this floodplain area. However the characterisation of the features within this area was limited due to the trenches becoming flooded.

Within the north-western corner of the southern field part of a stone building was recorded that correlated with a building marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1885.

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