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Tyne and Wear HER(1961): West Brunton, rectilinear enclosure - Details

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West Brunton, rectilinear enclosure

West Brunton




Rectilinear Enclosure


Iron Age - C2


First noticed on aerial photographs of 1977 (NMR MAZ/77024 Frame 049). An evaluation in 2003 (TWM Archaeology) recovered Iron Age pottery and structures. Excavated in 2004. The site actually comprised two rectilinear enclosures, one 20m north of the other. Only the southern one showed up clearly on aerial photographs. In 2008-9 a strip and record excavation on the line of a new spine road, revealed the west side of the northern enclosure. Phase 1/2 - unenclosed settlement. This phase contained over 40 circular or part-circular structures. Most house plots showed evidence of rebuild. The houses were built with continuous slots 300-400mm wide in which to set uprights. Some of the circular structures were very small (structure 25 was 5m in diameter). Plough damage had removed internal features. A calcinated sheep bone from the fill of the south terminal of the gully of rounhouse 4 was radiocarbon dated to 750-390 cal BC. Charred barley grains from the southern terminal area of rounhouse 6A was radiocarbon dated to 410-210 cal BC and 350 cal BC - cal AD 10. House 1A was larger than any other structure. It was architecturally more elaborate than any other. The outer wall slot contained an inner ring of posts set 2-2.75m inside the outer wall, defining a central area some 6.5m in diameter. The house was set within a rectangular palisade enclosing an area 33m x 27m. This must be a precursor to the phase 3 central house and large enclosure. Radiocarbon dates from house 1A were 410-260 cal BC, 360-160 cal BC, 385-200 cal BC. An internal ash pit or hearth was dated to 360-160 cal BC and 385-200 cal BC. An internal ash and charcoal filled scoop was dated to 770-380 cal BC. Roundhouse 35a was contained within a small sub-rectangular enclosure 11m x 8m internally. The enclosure ditch was 1.15m wide and 0.65m deep. The house faced east while the enclosure was open to the south so they may not have been contemporary. Two lengths of gully 0.9m wide and 0.55m deep cut houses 11 and 22, forming a two-sided rectinilinear enclosure. An unphased inhumation was found towards the eastern edge of the excavated area. Phase 3 - enclosed settlement. There were two principal rectilinear enclosures, 20m apart. Enclosure A was 43m x 34m. The ditch was between 5m and 8m wide. The undug causewayed entrance on the east side of enclosure A was 5m wide. Radiocarbon dates were 180 cal BC - cal AD 10 (primary silting of northern ditch), cal AD 60 - AD 240 and cal AD 50 - AD 220 (lowest waterlogged silting of north ditch terminal). Enclosure A contained a large east-facing roundhouse just west of centre. Its drainage gully was 0.70m to 1.5m wide. Radiocarbon dates were cal 50 BC - AD 130, 200-45 cal BC, 50 cal BC - cal AD 130. There was probably another smaller house towards the south-east corner. Enclosure B to the north was only partly excavated but measured 45m x 56-62m. The north side was a wide shallow ditch 4.5m wide and 1.2m deep. There were traces of burnt daub on its inner face. The infill was recut by a smaller V-shaped ditch 2.2m wide and 0.85m deep. The south side ditch had also been recut. The orginal ditch was V-shaped and steep-sided 4.5m wide and 1.60m deep. The recut was 4.5m wide and 1m deep. The western side was not parallel with the eastern . The east facing entrance was north of its centre. The entrance of the enclosure aligned with the entrance to the central roundhouse which contained a cup-marked stone in its south terminal. The large drip gully of the house had two phases. The house was 11m in diameter. A flat bottomed gully swung in an arc from the north side of the entrance forming a hornlike projection as observed in House H at East Brunton. Postholes were found inside the entrance, Two of them were door posts. The others may have supported an upper floor. The house may have been destroyed by fire at the end of its life. Radiocarbon dates were 50 cal BC - cal AD 70, 90 cal BC - cal AD 60. 22m south of enclosur




Tyne and Wear Museums, 2001, Supplementary Archaeological Assessment of Newcastle Great Park; Aerial Photograph, NMR, 1977 MAL/77024,frames 49 and 79, 07-07-1977; 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); TWM, 2009, West Brunton, Newcastle upon Tyne - Archaeological Strip and Record Excavation

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