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New Scientific Dating of the Later Bronze Age Wells at Swalecliffe, Kent

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 April 2011


The Swalecliffe later Bronze Age well complex was reported in detail in volume 83 of the Antiquaries Journal. The site comprised seventeen wells cut into the base of a previously reduced hollow. Groundwater could thus have been more readily accessed within the subsequently cut well pits. The depth of the base of the wells, at up to 2.5m below ground level, and their consequent waterlogged nature, allowed exceptional preservation of wooden linings and plank steps. Application of dendrochronological and radiocarbon dating suggested that the individual wells were used in sequence over a period of around 500 years, from an origin probably in the late thirteenth century BC to abandonment probably within the seventh century BC. The earlier phases (1–4) were dated mainly by dendrochronology, a 348-year sequence known as SWALECLF 1, whilst the later phases (5–7) were dated by a series of five radiocarbon dates.

Shorter Contributions
Copyright © The Society of Antiquaries of London 2004

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