Somerset Aggregates Lithics Assessment

Somerset County Council, 2008

Data copyright © Somerset County Council unless otherwise stated

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Primary contact

Hannah Firth
Archaeological Projects Manager
Historic Environment Service
Somerset County Council
County Hall
Tel: 0300 300 6603
Fax: 320229

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Somerset County Council (2008) Somerset Aggregates Lithics Assessment [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Introduction image

The Somerset Aggregates Lithics Assessment (SALSA) was commissioned by English Heritage in 2007 and was funded by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF). The project examined the lithic (flint and chert) collections recovered from the most significant aggregate areas of Somerset, on the Mendip plateaux and the Burtle Beds of the Somerset Levels. It provides a rapid assessment of the extent, date and character of the collections and their suitability for further analysis.

The results of the rapid assessment have led to the identification of 122 discrete lithic assemblage locations, comprising 24,097 objects, which have been incorporated into the Somerset Historic Environment Record (SHER) as new or amended sites. This has enabled the SHER to portray a more accurate and up to date picture of the extent of the known lithic distributions in the aggregate producing areas and has therefore enhanced its ability to be used as a development control tool.

The assessment has identified a significant problem with a large proportion of the lithic collections, in respect of a lack of accurate and precise locational information. Many collections suffered from inadequate packaging and labelling and these defects were remedied wherever possible during the project.

The assessment identified the lithic collections that were most deserving of full analysis and could potentially add the most to the archaeological knowledge of the early prehistoric period in the study areas. The project has also highlighted the need for the development and testing of fieldwork methodologies to characterise the human activity and archaeological remains that the lithic scatters represent.

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