Fieldwork Season 5 2014


Burrough Hill panorama

Welcome to the 2014 Field Season


This fifth and final season of excavation will carry on from the 2013 work to gather more information about the hillfort's interior and exterior. By targeting specific areas, using the geophysics results as a guide, this year's aim was to increase understanding of the nature of the hillfort occupation. By the end of this year's excavations the project will have examined a variety of archaeological remains in different areas within the hillfort to give an even fuller understanding of the site's use.

This year's trenches.....

Geophysical survey of Burrough Hill showing trench locations for 2014Trench 10 is located in centre of the hillfort and is intended to evaluate a large amorphous result from the geophysical survey. This looks like a linear spread of large pits and it may be the result of a prolonged period of quarrying, probably for ironstone.

We know from historical records that Burrough Hill was periodically quarried for building stone in relatively recent times and this may be part of that period of activity.

On the other hand it may be related to Iron Age or Roman quarrying, perhaps to remove stone for rampart or other building maintenance. This small trench will enable better understanding of  the character and date of the activity in the centre of the hillfort and potentially help in identifying what different areas of the interior were used for.

Trench 11 is located in the south-west corner of the hillfort and will extend last years Trench 8 westwards to further investigate this part of the earthworks.

A second entrance?

An interesting feature of the south-west corner of Burrough Hill is a gap in the ramparts giving access to a narrow trackway leading down the hill slope.  This may be Iron Age in origin as the trackway leads down to natural springs, potentially the main source of water for the hillforts occupants.

In 2013 one of the objectives of work in Trench 8 was to gain a better understanding of  this area of the rampart. Was this an original entrance and if so, how did it look in the Iron Age? Was this a later insertion and if this was the case, when was the rampart dug through?

As is usually the case with archaeology, the 2013 work raised more questions than answers! The rampart core was very similar to other areas we have looked, made of dumped layers of soil and rubble, but the inner edge was faced with a well-made drystone wall, similar to the one revealed in the main hillfort entrance.

How does the wall relate to the rampart core and when was it built? Could it have formed one side of an Iron Age entrance or is it blocking an earlier gap?

Trench 12 is located outside the hillfort to investigate geophysical survey results showing a large ditched enclosure. The relationship between the enclosure and the hillfort quarry ditch is uncertain, so one aim of the work in this trench will be to understand which came first. If the enclosure proves to be the earlier feature it could potentially pre-date the establishment of the hillfort. If later, it may be associated with the increasing evidence for Late Roman occupation of the northern side of the hillfort.

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