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Tyne and Wear HER(13282): Dinnington, Fox Covert, pit alignment - Details

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Dinnington, Fox Covert, pit alignment



Religious Ritual and Funerary

Pit Alignment


Bronze Age/Iron Age

Physical Evidence

An alignment of rectangular and oval pits excavated in advance of open cast coal mining in 2005. The length of the alignment was 385m. The upcast from the pits was probably used to form a low earthen bank. It probably represents a prehistoric landscape boundary heading straight towards Preswick Carr, which was at that time, a post-glacial lake. No dateable artefacts were foundd in the fill of the pits, but quartz from one pit was Optically Stimulated Luminescence dated to the Late Bronze Age or Iron Age (lower fill 920 BC +- 395 +- 430), suggesting the date of the digging of the pits. The pits were allowed to silt up in the Romano-British period (upper fill 280 AD +- 70, +- 130). There is another pit alignment at Milkhope, 2 km to the north-east which was associated with an Iron Age settlement. This runs parallel to to that at Fox Covert. The pit alignment did not show up in the geophysical survey of 2002 nor on aerial photographs. The pit alignment may have remained visible as a landscape feature in the early medieval period as a 10th century enclosure ditch respected its line.




Gary Brogan and Steve Speak, 2006, Fox Covert, Archaeology in Northumberland, Northumberland County Council/Northumberland National Park, Vol. 16, page 12; Timescape Surveys, May 2002, A Geophysical Survey at Fox Covert, Dinnington, Newcastle upon Tyne; Timescape Surveys, September 2002 Phase 2, A Geophysical Survey at Fox Covert, Dinnington, Newcastle upon Tyne; Warren Muncaster, Tyne and Wear Museums, September 2007, Archive Report, Fox Covert OCCS, Dinnington, Tyne and Wear - Archaeological Excavation; Nick Hodgson, Jonathan McKelvey and Warren Muncaster, 2012, The Iron Age on the Northumberland Coastal Plain - excavations in advance of development 2002-2010 (Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums Archaeological Monograph No. 3, TWM Archaeology and the Arbeia Society)

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