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Refitting Etton: Space, Time, and Material Culture Within a Causewayed Enclosure in Cambridgeshire

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 March 2013

Emma Beadsmoore
Affiliation:
Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ
Duncan Garrow
Affiliation:
School of Archaeology, Classics, and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, Hartley Building, Brownlow Street, Liverpool L69 3GS
Mark Knight
Affiliation:
Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ

Abstract

This paper considers the dynamics of deposition around and across the causewayed enclosure at Etton, Cambridgeshire. As a result of detailed re-analysis (particularly refitting) of the pottery and flint assemblages from the site, it proved possible to shed new light both on the temporality of occupation and the character of deposition there. Certain aspects of our work challenge previous interpretations of the site, and of causewayed enclosures in general; but, just as importantly, others confirm materially what has previously been suggested. The quantities of material deposited at Etton reveal that the enclosure was occupied only very intermittently and certainly less regularly than other contemporary sites in the region. The spatial distribution of material suggests that the enclosure ditch lay open for the entirety of the monument's life, but that acts of deposition generally focused on a specific part of the monument at any one time. As well as enhancing our knowledge of one particular causewayed enclosure, it is hoped that this paper – in combination with our earlier analysis of the pit site at Kilverstone – makes clear the potential that detailed material analysis has to offer in relation to our understanding of the temporality of occupation on prehistoric sites in general.

Résumé

Cette étude examine la dynamique de dépôts aux alentours et dans l'enclos d'Etton, Cambridgeshire. Elle résulte d'une nouvelle analyse (en particulier d'une re-situation) des assemblages de poterie et de silex du site, il s'est avéré possible d'apporter de nouveaux éléments à la fois à la temporalité de l'occupation et aux caractéristiques des dépôts à.cet endroit. Certains aspects de nos travaux remettent en cause des interprétations antérieures du site et des enclos à chaussée empierrée en général; mais, et c'est tout aussi important, d'autres apportent une confirmation matérielle à ce qui avait été envisagé jusqu'alors. La quantité de matériaux déposés à Etton révèle que l'enclos ne fut occupé que par intermittence et certainement moins régulièrement que d'autres sites contemporains de la région. La répartition des matériaux dans l'espace donne à penser que le fossé de l'enclos est resté ouvert pendant toute la durée de la vie du monument, mais ces actes de dépôts se concentraient en général sur une partie particulière du monument à quelque moment que ce soit. Aussi bien que renforcer notre connaissance d'un enclos à chaussée empierrée particulier, nous espérons que cette étude – en association avec notre analyse antérieure du site de fosses de Kilverstone – met en évidence le potentiel qu'offre une analyse détaillée des matériaux en ce qui concerne notre compréhension du caractère temporaire de l'occupation des sites préhistoriques en général.

Résumen

Este trabajo considera la dinámica de la deposición alrededor de y en el recinto de tipo causeway en Etton, Cambridgeshire. Como resultado de un detallado reanálisis (particularmente el remontado) de los conjuntos de cerámica y líticos del yacimiento, ha sido posible aportar nuevas luces acerca de la temporalidad de la ocupación y del carácter de la deposición. Ciertos aspectos de nuestro trabajo desafían anteriores interpretaciones del yacimiento y de los recintos tipo causeway en general; pero, y es igualmente importante, otros confirman materialmente sugerencias previas. Las cantidades de material depositadas en Etton revelan que el recinto fue ocupado sólo de modo muy intermitente y ciertamente con menos regularidad que otros yacimientos contemporáneos en la región. La distribución espacial del material sugiere que el foso del recinto permaneció abierto durante todo el periodo de vida del monumento, pero que los actos de deposición generalmente se centraron en una parte específica del monumento en cada momento. Además de mejorar nuestro conocimiento de un recinto tipo causeway específico, este trabajo – conjuntamente con nuestro anterior análisis del yacimiento del pozo en Kilverstone – demuestra claramente el potencial que un análisis material detallado ofrece para nuestra interpretación de la temporalidad de ocupación de los yacimientos prehistóricos en general.

Zusammenfassung

Dieser Beitrag erörtert die Dynamik von Deponierungsvorgängen an und in der Kreisgrabenanlage von Etton, Cambridgeshire. Die detaillierte Neuuntersuchung von Ensembles von Keramik und Feuerstein – insbesondere das Anpassen von Fragmenten – ermöglichte neue Einsichten sowohl in die zeitlichen Abläufe der Nutzung des Fundplatzes als auch in den Charakter der Deponierungsvorgänge. Bestimmte Aspekte unserer Arbeit stellen bisherige Interpretationen der Kreisgrabenanlage von Etton und von Kreisgrabenanlagen generell in Frage; andere Aspekte wiederum, und dies ist ebenso bedeutsam, bestätigen bestimmte bislang vorgeschlagene Interpretationen. Die in Etton deponierten Fundmengen lassen erkennen, dass die Kreisgrabenanlage nur periodisch und sicherlich weniger regelmäßig benutzt wurde als zeitgleiche Fundplätze in der Region. Die räumliche Verteilung der Funde weist zum einen darauf hin, dass der Kreisgraben während der gesamten Nutzungszeit des Monuments offen lag, zum anderen, dass Deponierungshandlungen sich grundsätzlich zu bestimmten Zeiten auf bestimmte Abschnitte des Monuments konzentrierten. Ziel dieses Beitrages ist es, nicht nur unsere Kenntnis dieser einen Kreisgrabenanlage zu verbessern, sondern auch – gemeinsam mit unserer früheren Analyse des Grubenfundplatzes von Kilverstone – das Potenzial zu verdeutlichen, das eine derartige detaillierte Analyse des Fundmaterials bietet in Bezug auf unser Verständnis von Zeitabläufen der Nutzung prähistorischer Orte generell.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Prehistoric Society 2010

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