School Lane, Overbury, Worcestershire. Archaeological Evaluation (OASIS ID: wessexar1-215089)

Wessex Archaeology, 2016

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Introduction

School Lane, Overbury, Worcestershire. Archaeological Evaluation (OASIS ID: wessexar1-215089)

Wessex Archaeology was commissioned by CgMs Consulting to undertake an archaeological evaluation on land west of School Lane, Overbury (NGR 395780, 237140) to inform a forthcoming application for residential development.

A Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI) for the archaeological works was prepared by Wessex Archaeology (2015) and submitted to Worcestershire County Council (WCC) for approval. A Historic Environment Record (HER) search had identified prehistoric and Romano British settlement close to and within a 0.5km radius of the site which is situated to the south of the historic core of medieval Overbury.

A total of six evaluation trenches were excavated across the site. The three southern trenches (3, 4 and 6) were void of archaeological features.

A narrow gully aligned north-northeast to south-southwest was identified within Trench 1 and was found to contain a single sherd of Early-middle Bronze Age pottery. The feature was 0.2m deep and petered out at its southern limit where it had been truncated by later agricultural activity. The feature continued beyond the northern limit of the trench.

A wide hollow way/trackway was identified within Trench 5. The southern part of the trench was completely filled with the feature’s upper fill suggesting it was over 2m wide. Excavation confirmed that the feature had a flat base with the lower primary fill containing a single sherd of undiagnostic prehistoric pottery.

A single north-south aligned grave cut was identified within Trench 2, containing a partially revealed human skull at the northern end of the grave. The characteristics of the grave are indicative of a Romano-British pagan burial. The burial lies to the western side of the trackway identified within Trench 5. Two previously identified Romano-British burials, 30m north of the site, may have been located on the eastern side of the same trackway. It was common practice to locate burials outside settlement areas, often along roadways during the Romano-British period. It seems likely that although prehistoric pottery was recovered from the base of the trackway within Trench 5, it continued to be used into the Romano-British period.