Tyne and Wear HER(7111): Bishopwearmouth, Prehistoric site - Details
Bishopwearmouth, Prehistoric site
An archaeological evaluation on the former site of Vaux Brewery in 2003-2004 identified a site used possibly from the Mesolithic period through to the early Iron Age. The form and dimensions of some of the features, particularly a large ditch at least 6.80m wide with an associated bank, possibly a boundary ditch or enclosure feature, a possible ditch terminus and large pit, along with the relatively large quantity of Middle Bronze Age pottery recovered, suggests that the site may have been the location of an important long-lived settlement focus during the 2nd millennium BC and through to the early Iron Age c. 1000-700 BC. Artefactual material from the site was of high regional significance. The lithic assemblage (28 flakes, scrapers, cores, blades) dated from two distinct periods - blades and blade-like flakes characteristic of the Mesolithic and Early Neolithic periods, and the cores and primary flakes characteristic of the Bronze Age and Iron Age periods. All but two of the ceramic sherds date from the Middle Bronze Age, 2nd millennium BC. These include well-preserved sherds from a variety of handmade vessels, some decorated and with extant rims. The remaining two sherds are either Late Bronze Age or early Iron Age. They came from a well-stratified ditch fill. A worked bone object was also recovered - a thin (2mm) circular bone disc, 27mm in diameter, with a central hole, 7mm in diameter. Weight 1g. One side has four incised grooves radiating away from the central hole. It is most likely to be of prehistoric origin, but the function of the object has not been ascertained. It may have been a personal adornment such as a pendant.
Pre-Construct Archaeology, 2004, An Archaeological Evaluation at the former Vaux Brewery, St. Mary's Way, Sunderland