Burrow House Farm, Cottam: an Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian Settlement in East Yorkshire

Julian D Richards, 2001

Data copyright © Prof Julian D Richards unless otherwise stated

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University of York
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The presence of Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian settlements at Cottam B, East Yorkshire, was first indicated in 1987 by numerous finds of copper alloy coins, dress pins and strap ends by metal detector users. Archaeological fieldwork revealed an enclosure of the eighth-ninth centuries AD, containing traces of a small number of post-built halls. In the late ninth century this settlement was then abandoned, a process which led to the incorporation of a human female skull in a domestic rubbish pit. A new enclosed settlement was laid out nearby, which was occupied briefly in the early tenth century. It is argued that the Anglian settlement may have been part of a royal multiple estate but that as a result of estate reorganisation after the Scandinavian settlement it developed into an independent manor. Cottam is the first so-called "productive site" in the environs of York to be the subject of archaeological investigations. The results suggest that it was a prosperous but not exceptional site, and that the primary activity was farming, with limited evidence for trade or manufacture. This work also prompts a reassessment of the typology of crop mark enclosures and a re-examination of the large number of undated enclosures in the area.