Season 1 (2010)

Burrough Hill panorama

Welcome to the 2010 Webdiary

This page contains a summary of the 2010 excavation season which took place for five weeks in June and July 2010

Aims2010 trench locations

Two of the past excavations were revisited as part of the project's first season.

Trench 1 was located in the hillfort entrance, and expanded on work previously undertaken in 1960.

Trench 2 examined a section of the rampart and immediate interior on the northern side of the hillfort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trench 1

2010 trench 1
Guard chamber and rampart in Trench 1

A trench in the hillfort entrance expanded on work previously undertaken in 1960 and revealed much about construction methods and the gradual development of the entrance.  The rampart was made of a series of stone and clay layers, showing a sequence of expansion over time  The rampart layers were held in place by well-built drystone walls made from locally quarried ironstone.  The northern wall also acted as one side of the entrance passage.  Two deep post holes in this part of the trench would have held huge timber gates and supported a wooden walkway above the entrance.  A recessed room was built into the rampart and may have acted as a guard chamber.  Preserved within this room were intact Iron Age floors and hearth remains that will hopefully provide radiocarbon dates and environmental information.

A range of pottery and animal bones were found in the entrance trench indicating mid-late Iron Age activity between the 4th-1st centuries BC.  Pottery and bone, as well as metalworking and weaving tools were found in the guard room, hinting at some of the activities that took place within.  A pit behind the ramparts also produced a bone pin, pottery and the bones of sheep, cattle and pig, showing some of the species the hillfort inhabitants kept and ate.

Trench 2

Trench 2, 2010
Trench 2 showing roundhouse, cobble surface, and rampart rubble spread

A second trench examined a section of the rampart and immediate interior on the northern side of the hillfort.  The archaeology was well-preserved because it lay beneath a medieval plough headland that had protected the underlying remains. The northern part of the trench, adjacent to the rampart earthworks, contained an extensive layer of rubble tumble which had accumulated as the hillfort gradually fell into disrepair.  Pottery from within the rubble and associated layers will help to understand when this process began. A refuse layer rich in Roman pottery indicated intermittent activity on Burrough Hill between the 1st and 4th centuries AD.  The pottery was dominated by a range of drinking vessels so it may be that in the Roman period, the hillfort was used for festivities at certain times of the year.

Some sense of the Iron Age activity in this part of the hillfort was also revealed.  A laid cobble surface was probably part of a track or yard.  Nearby, part of a roundhouse also indicated occupation in the lee of the ramparts.  A number of pits and an area of metalworking waste were probably associated with this house.

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