January 14, 2018
At University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) have, as usual, been busy both inside the county and further afield. At Cadeby Quarry a mini – Sunken Featured Building has been found to add to the Anglo-Saxon buildings excavated here and part of a medieval close, associated with Brascote DMV, has been identified associated with medieval pottery, including a large pit containing green glazed sherds.
At Donisthorpe a complex of Romano-British field systems or stock enclosures has been excavated. Geophysical survey in two neighbouring fields to the east indicates that the enclosure system is widespread. There appears to be at least two clear phases of boundary system within our area, both on slightly different alignments. A small section of compact pebble metalling has survived between the east-west ditches, probably a deliberately laid trackway between different enclosures.
At Bath Lane, Leicester, the excavation of a Roman building, along with medieval burials and pits continues – and is likely to continue for several months. Recent finds include a possible flax retting pit and a well preserved fragment of Roman cloth.
At Market Harborough, on the northern edge of the built up area evaluation of a site revealed by geophysical survey has confirmed what may be stock enclosures, while in the field to the east a probable boundary ditch defined an area of early Roman settlement, comprising pitting and probable structural features, occupying the higher ground.
At Lockington Quarry, on a site adjacent to Iron Age features excavated during an earlier phase and, across the road from the Scheduled area containing an Iron Age village and Roman villa, the team have found a large recut boundary ditch, with Roman tile and pottery in the upper fill and several heavily truncated linear features, on a slightly different alignment, and of Iron Age date. At Easthorpe, Bottesford medieval village features have been excavated.
Post-excavation work has continued on two important Iron Age finds. The very rare Enderby bark shield has now been conserved, and is back in Leicester. Now that it is possible to handle the fragments and view both sides simultaneously, some outstanding basic questions on the construction of the object are being addressed. Funding has now been agreed for the remaining post-excavation work on the Glenfield Park, Kirby Muxloe cauldrons. This will involve micro-excavation and conservation work on the cauldrons by MOLA, and then scientific analysis by the British Museum. This is expected to take around 2-3 years, beginning in early 2018.
PCA have been excavating at Kibworth Beauchamp on a site revealed by geophysical survey. A track runs broadly east-west with enclosures to north and south associated with some Roman material and bone. A group of inhumation burials have been excavated and a small hoard of iron objects, perhaps Late Saxon in date.
PCAS have been working on the Roman town site at Ibstock.
Cotswold Archaeology have been evaluating just north of Watling Street to the south-east of Burbage. 2 separate sites have been found, one with curving ditches and the other rectilinear. The first is probably Iron Age and the second Roman. A cremation burial is associated.
MOLA have been evaluating at Blackfordby and have uncovered the tops of bell pits.
Allen Archaeology have returned to a site near Croxton Kerrial and found more Roman period ditches.
Trent and Peak Archaeology have been evaluating at Bottesford and revealed a complex Roman site.