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In September 2019 Oxford Archaeology East carried out archaeological excavations at land to the west of Chitts Hill, Stanway. Two small areas were opened up within the proposed residential development, targeting a possible ring-ditch defined by a previous evaluation undertaken by Archaeology South-East in 2017 (ECC3952) and also across the projected line of Gryme’s Dyke (MCC7464).<1>
Area 1 was a 30m x 30m excavation area centred on the ring-ditch; however, following extensive investigation, the feature was shown not to exist. The only additional archaeological features present were two small and shallow pits with charcoal-rich fills, one of which was radiocarbon dated to the Middle-Late Anglo-Saxon period (cal AD 773 – AD 937; SUERC-90156; 1178 ± 20 BP; 95% probability); the pits most probably related to charcoal production. There was no evidence of the purported ring ditch.
Area 2 was a 30m x 6m trench across the projected line of Gryme’s Dyke, on the east edge of the development site and adjacent to Chitts Hill, targeting a possible feature identified by geophysical survey (ECC3889). However, the dyke was not present within the excavated area and a linear feature noted in the geophysical survey was most likely a modern drain pipe. The dyke was not present at this location and could possibly have been located to the east, outside of the development area. No further archaeological features or deposits were evident.
With the exception of a single fragment of modern drain ceramic within Area 2, there were no finds recovered during the excavation. Bulk samples were taken from two charcoal-rich pits within Area 1 (53 and 56). Both samples produced flots that are comprised completely of oak (Quercus sp.) charcoal.
EXCAV REPORT: Graham, Steven. 2019. Land West of Chitts Hill, Stanway, Colchester, Essex: Archaeological Excavation Report. OA Report 2373.
Related Monuments/Buildings (3)
MCC7715Cropmarmarks near-Stanway-Iron Latch Lane (Monument)
MCC10387Four pits, land to the west of Chitts Hill, Stanway (Element Group)
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