September 5, 2018
University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) have, as usual, been the most prolific archaeological contractor locally. The Waterside Development, where a large area in the north west of the walled town and in the suburb to its north is to be developed, has continued to be a busy area with work undertaken as buildings are demolished. The large medieval cemetery, probably associated with St Clements church, continues to be excavated as more areas become available. At least two high-status Roman town houses have been identified on either side of a north/south Roman street, both with surviving tessellated floors and masonry.
Outside the walls several further trial trenches have been excavated. More evidence of the medieval suburb fronting Northgate Street has been found, and in three trenches human remains have been recovered, probably part of a Roman cemetery.
At Ashton Green, Beaumont Leys an evaluation has found several Iron Age pits and early Roman gullies crammed with pot and at least 21 pits of an extensive pit alignment crossing the development area.
At Brooksby Quarry the count of Lower Palaeolithic artefacts is now 864, most recently a fine handaxe (photo above). It is a small piece (as are a lot at Brooksby) formed from a quartzite cobble that had a natural split which could be used as a platform for further flaking into the classic handaxe shape.
At Lubbesthorpe two Middle Bronze Age urned cremations of adults have been excavated. The vessels were buried more or less upright in small pits. Close to the urns were deposits that seem to have been related but were not in any way formal burials. The pottery vessels are bucket urns typologically belonging to the Middle Bronze Age Deverel-Rimbury tradition. This is confirmed by the C14 dates with radiocarbon determinations from calcined bone producing date ranges (at 95.4% probability) of cal. 1404-1227 and 1419-1262 BC, which indicates a date early in the Middle Bronze Age.
At Stoke Golding a complex arrangement of boundary ditches reflecting activity from the medieval (12th/13th century) through to the post-medieval (17th/18th century) periods were excavated. One of the medieval ditches contained a complete jug (see below). In the northern area traces of an 18th/19th century cottage and associated boundaries were recorded near the street frontage and these lay above medieval remains including a pit containing pottery.
At Norton-Juxta-Twycross evaluation has revealed a surprising quantity of medieval features in the centre of the village. Several features contained quite early medieval pottery fabrics (dating from the 11th to the 14th centuries) and the features are certainly suggestive of potential occupation during the early medieval phase of the village.
At Waltham on the Wolds Roman material has been found in an evaluation, while at Smeeton Westerby trenching has produced medieval material.
Cotswold Archaeology continue their work at Hinckley Island excavating a curvilinear ditch of Iron Age or Early Roman date.
Trent and Peak are excavating a series of shallow ditches and gullies making up a set of enclosures of probable Iron Age date at Claybrooke Magna.
Archaeological Research Services are investigating medieval features on the edge of Husbands Bosworth.