Project Swift, Farm Park, Nature and Outdoor Activity Centre, Culham, Oxfordshire. Geophysical Survey. (OASIS ID: headland5-321152)

Sam Harrison, 2019

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https://doi.org/10.5284/1048330
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Sam Harrison (2019) Project Swift, Farm Park, Nature and Outdoor Activity Centre, Culham, Oxfordshire. Geophysical Survey. (OASIS ID: headland5-321152) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1048330

Introduction

Project Swift, Farm Park, Nature and Outdoor Activity Centre, Culham, Oxfordshire. Geophysical Survey. (OASIS ID: headland5-321152)

Headland Archaeology (UK) Ltd undertook a geophysical (magnetometer) survey, covering approximately 24 hectares, in support of a planning application (P17/S4416/FUL) for a proposed farm park, nature and outdoor activity centre with associated parking facilities and infrastructure at Culham, Oxfordshire.

The site is located within a landscape of high archaeological potential with extensive cropmarks recorded on the Oxfordshire Historic Environment Record both within the site and in the surrounding landscape.

Three distinct areas of archaeological activity have been identified by the geophysical survey, two of which comprise linear and curvilinear anomalies (soil-filled ditches), together forming systems of land division and enclosure within which seven ring-ditch anomalies suggestive of settlement activity have been identified. The third area of archaeological activity comprises an isolated ring-ditch, possibly a round house. These areas broadly correspond to the cropmark data and are assessed to be of high archaeological potential, probably locating later prehistoric and/or Roman activity as suggested in the Heritage Statement.

The archaeological anomalies are largely confined to the margins of the geophysical survey area, with no anomalies of archaeological potential having been identified over the majority of the site. However, the recent application of green waste as soil conditioner over 40% of the survey area has resulted in a widespread elevated magnetic background against which any low magnitude anomalies of archaeological potential may be masked. For this reason, the archaeological potential across the affected areas remains uncertain. No green waste has been applied to the fields in the north and east of the site and here the archaeological potential is assessed as low to moderate.