South Gloucestershire Aggregate Resource Assessment

Cotswold Archaeology, 2013

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Nathan Blick
Cotswold Archaeology
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https://doi.org/10.5284/1022037
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Cotswold Archaeology (2013) South Gloucestershire Aggregate Resource Assessment [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1022037

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Introduction

An Archaeological Resource Assessment of the Aggregates Producing Areas of South Gloucestershire was undertaken by Cotswold Archaeology in 2009 and 2010. The project was funded by English Heritage, through the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF). It is one of a number of similar projects summarising the aggregate resource of counties, including Wiltshire and Swindon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Warwickshire. The project mapped the potential aggregate producing areas of the county.

The resource comprises: Carboniferous Limestones and Quartzitic Sandstone forming the Carboniferous Limestone Supergroup, which outcrops in the Unitary District (UD) at the northern edge of the Bristol Coalfield; River Terrace deposits; Alluvial deposits potentially masking River Terrace deposits; and sand deposits of the River Severn. The potential aggregates resource of the UD was divided into two Aggregate Character Areas (ACAs): the Land Based ACA, comprising the Carboniferous Limestone Supergroup along with River Terrace and Alluvial deposits; and the Severn ACA, comprising the area south of the First Severn Crossing, below Low Mean Tide.

The archaeological resource of these areas was assessed by reference to Historic Environment Record data. This information was supplemented with data provided by the National Monuments Record Archaeological Database, the Portable Antiquities Scheme, previous resource assessments, and published archaeological sources. This information was used to produce a Resource Assessment, summarising the known resource by period, as well as a Research Framework and Agenda, highlighting potential areas of future research. This work demonstrated a lower density of archaeological sites within the ACAs than within the UD as a whole and further research is needed to identify whether this reflects a true low-density resource or results from a bias in investigation, particularly with reference to the prehistoric periods. While a good general understanding of Roman activity in the UD has been established, further targeted research would be beneficial. A greater quantity of information is available for the later periods, with the exception of Early Medieval, which is typically underrepresented in the archaeological record across the country. The volume of recorded sites increases for the medieval, post-medieval and modern periods, although a number of specific research topics would benefit from synthesis of existing data.