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Tyne and Wear HER(16222): Wideopen, enclosed settlement - Details

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N Tyneside

Wideopen, enclosed settlement






Bronze Age-Iron Age

Physical Evidence

Multi-phased enclosure settlement typical of the coastal lowland Iron Age in south Northumberland. Radiocarbon analysis shows that the site was occupied, at least intermittently, throughout the Iron Age, and may have origins in the late Bronze Age. The earliest evidence for activity on the site come from a radiocarbon date taken from oak charcoal from the fill of a roundhouse ditch 5968-5750BC although this may represent evidence of transient late Mesolithic activity. The settlement is sub-rectangular in shape, defined by a large ditch. It comprises thirteen roundhouse plots, often reused several times, probably with two or three houses inhabited at once. Ploughing has removed most of the evidence for structural features such as postholes, wall slots and floors. The principle surviving features are deep penannular ditches defining each plot. An intermittent gully around the settlement is indicative of a timber palisade enclosing the site. This has been radiocarbon dated to the early Iron Age. Later, a double-ditched enclosure with a sub-enclosure in the southern part was constructed around the settlement. Palaeoenvironmental data indicates that spelt wheat and 6-row hulled barley were the main cereal crops used at the site. An unusual 'fire-shovel' was found by ASUD during the archaeologcal investigation, likely to have been a multi-purpose hearth tool - possibly a high status item. Other finds included prehistoric and later pottery, flints and quern stones. The settlement was abandoned around the turn of the millennium, probably before the Roman incursion. C.800-400BC Early unenclosed dwelling and subsequent small-scale palisaded enclosure (no evidence for assocaited dwellings). C.400-200BC Mid Iron Age abandonment of palisade, multiple phases of unenclosed roundhouses. C.200-100BC Mid-late Iron Age ditch enclosure of settlement. C.100AD Abandonment.




Tyne & Wear Museums Archaeology Department, November 2002, East Wideopen, North Tyneside - Archaeological Assessment; Tyne & Wear Museums, East Wideopen, North Tyneside - Archaeological Desk-based Assessment; TWM Archaeology, 2009, East Wideopen, Tyne & Wear - Archaeological Geophysical Survey; TWM Archaeology, 2009, East Wideopen, Tyne and Wear - Archaeological Evaluation Interim Report; TWM Archaeology, February 2010, East Wideopen, Tyne and Wear - Archaeological Evaluation; Archaeological Services Durham University, 2014, East Wideopen, North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, post-excavation full analysis

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