Stamford West, Stamford, Lincolnshire. Archaeological Excavation (OASIS ID: wessexar1-271360)

Wessex Archaeology, 2017

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https://doi.org/10.5284/1044400
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Wessex Archaeology (2017) Stamford West, Stamford, Lincolnshire. Archaeological Excavation (OASIS ID: wessexar1-271360) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1044400

Introduction

Stamford West, Stamford, Lincolnshire. Archaeological Excavation (OASIS ID: wessexar1-271360)

Wessex Archaeology undertook a programme of archaeological excavation on land at Exeter Down, Stamford, Lincolnshire, prior to a mixed-use development. Two separate excavation areas were opened up. Within Area 1, the remains comprised a sequence of three roundhouses, the latest of which was set within a ditched enclosure. Ceramic and radiocarbon dating evidence indicate the settlement was occupied during the Early and Middle Iron Age.

By the Late Iron Age, occupation appears to have ceased, and an arrangement of field boundary ditches suggests a purely agricultural use for the land instead. Area 2 contained two small iron smelting furnaces and a cluster of pits. Evidence suggests that the furnaces date to the Early to Middle Iron Age, and represent localised small-scale iron production. Evidence of ironworking is known from the vicinity of the Site, but the remains found at Stamford West appear to be a notably early manifestation of the technology. A general absence of diagnostic smithing slag and residues suggest this process occurred elsewhere. Although the furnaces were poorly preserved, their morphology suggests they were of the bowl type; if correct this would be of some significance for the understanding of the development of ironworking technology. Animal bone from the settlement indicates an unusually even proportion of cattle and sheep when compared with regional norms. The overall picture is of have been mixed and non-specialised agriculture. Environmental remains suggest cereal cultivation and grassland, field margins/hedgerows, waste ground, arable and oak and hazel woodland in the wider environment.