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Report on Recent Excavations at Peacock's Farm, Shippea Hill, Cambridgeshire

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 January 2012

Extract

Peacock's Farm in the parish of Shippea Hill, Cambridgeshire, is situated in the SE. corner of the Fenland some 7 miles ENE. of Ely and about 20 miles almost due south of King's Lynn. The position of the site is shown in fig. 1, in which areas of alluvial deposit are reserved and more ancient deposits are obliquely shaded, marking the margin of the fen basin and in places islands, which break the monotony of the level fen. Crossing the map obliquely in the bottom right-hand corner is the Icknield Way, marked by a solid line where its course is certain and by a broken line where it is less well defined; and situated in immediate proximity to this ancient track on Therfield Heath, near Royston, is the only Long Barrow at present known in the region. A corner of the modern Wash is shown at the top of the map for convenience, though actually the sea was very far away in the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. The river system marked on the map is based entirely upon the work of Major Gordon Fowler, F.S.A., F.G.S., and indicates fairly certainly the system which functioned during the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, or rather that part of the river system of these periods still available for study above the sea. It will be observed that all the rivers shown on this map form tributaries of a single great river, flowing through the present site of Wisbech, through the estuary in the sixteenth-century coast line (shown by a broken line), and by way of what are now known as the Lynn Deeps and Silver Pit out across the present North Sea, to reach the contemporary coast-line.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Society of Antiquaries of London 1935

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References

page 284 note 1 The extinct river system, first observed by Major Gordon Fowler, F.S.A., and already mapped by him over part of the Fens (see P.C.A.S. xxxiii, 108–28, and xxxiv, 17–33 ; also Geogr. J. lxxix, 210, 351, and lxxxiii, 30), is visible on the modern surface and is known to have been partly active in the Romano-British period. Such borings as have been made (e.g. Antiq. Journ. xiii, pl. XLVII) indicate that these rivers have flowed in substantially the same courses for a long way back in the post-glacial period.

page 286 note 1 Antiq. Journ. xiii, 266–96.

page 286 note 2 Lethbridge, T. C., Fowler, Gordon, and Sayce, R. U., ‘A skeleton of the Early Bronze Age found in the Fens’, P.P.S.E.A. vi, 362–4.Google Scholar

page 286 note 3 Antiq. Journ. xiii, 277, fig. 6, nos. 82–6.

page 287 note 1 Ibid. 271, 283.

page 289 note 1 The clay is very soft, while still damp, and there would be little chance of missing a scatter of objects in it.

page 292 note 1 A few in fact were so decayed that they have not survived removal from the ground.

page 294 note 1 Owing to the difficult conditions three or four sherds were recovered without exact provenance, two pieces, for example, from a sump. On the lower slopes of the sand-ridge the surface was waterlogged, and the sand had to be held by throwing down heavy wooden horses.

page 295 note 1 For the phenomenon of peat shrinkage or wastage, see Fowler, Geogr. J. lxxxi, 149.

page 297 note 1 Antiq. Journ. xiii (1933), 289–92.Google Scholar

page 297 note 2 Ibid. pl. xlvii.

page 297 note 3 Ibid. 291.

page 298 note 1 At 50 ft. the lower peat bed was established by boring to – 22½ ft. (O.D.).

page 298 note 2 Antiq. Journ. xiii (1933), fig. 8, and p. 285.

page 301 note 1 Clark, J. G. D., ‘Derivative Forms of the Petit Tranchet in Britain’, Archaeological Journal, xci, 35.Google Scholar

page 302 note 1 Antiq. Journ. xiv, 114.

page 302 note 2 Arch. Journ. lxxxviii, 75.

page 303 note 1 S. Hazzledine Warren Collection, to be published shortly.

page 303 note 2 E.g. Arch. Journ. lxxxviii, 99, 101, 103.

page 303 note 3 E.g. Reinerth, Chronologie der jüngeren Steinzeit, Taf. VI (from Michelsberg), Childe in Arch. Journ. lxxxviii, 46, pl. 1 A, left-hand pot in middle row (from Spiennes).

page 304 note 1 No. 36 is interpreted as a flake prepared for the production of a microlith by the removal of the butt-end of the primary flake, by an oblique blow, the butt-end itself becoming the so-called micro-burin. In the case of nos. 37 and 38 an effort has been made to carry this out, but has ended in failure.

page 305 note 1 This also occurs with an oblique edge in the ‘narrow blade’ microlithic industry of the Pennines. See J. G. D. Clark, The Mesolithic Age in Britain, fig. 9, no. 31. Also at West Keal, Lincolnshire, ibid., fig. 17, no. 18.

page 305 note 2 Ibid., fig. 15, nos. 4, 18, 43, and 29 respectively.

page 306 note 1 Actually recovered from the sump and therefore without accurate vertical provenance, but almost certainly from the lower peat bed.

page 306 note 2 Mr. Kennard states that ‘both samples are clearly of the same age’.

page 307 note 1 Godwin, H., ‘Pollen Analysis. An Outline of the Problems and Potentialities of the Method’, New Phytologist, xxxiii, 1934.Google Scholar

page 308 note 1 H., and Godwin, M. E. and Clifford, M. H., ‘Controlling Factor in the Formation of Fen Deposits, as Shown by Peat Investigations at Wood Fen, near Ely’, Journal of Ecology, xxiii, 1935Google Scholar.

page 310 note 1 Erdtman, G., ‘The Boreal Hazel forests and the theory of pollen-statistics’, Journal of Ecology, xix, 1931Google Scholar.

page 310 note 2 H., and Godwin, M. E., in ‘Report on an Early Bronze Age site in the South-eastern Fens’, by G. Clark, Anliq. Journ., xiii, 1933Google Scholar.

page 311 note 1 Jessen, K., ‘Conditions géologiques des deux stations de plus ancien âge de la pierre dans la tourbière de Holmegaard’, Mém. de la Soc. Roy. des Antiq. du Nord, 19261927.Google Scholar

page 311 note 2 Thomson, P. W., ‘Geologische Datierungen archäologischer Funde in Estland’, Fornvännen, 1930.Google Scholar

page 311 note 3 H., and Godwin, M. E., ‘British Maglemose Harpoon Sites’, Antiquity, 1933.Google Scholar

page 311 note 4 H., and Godwin, M. E., ‘Pollen analysis of peats from Rickoff's Pit, Broxbourne’, Journ. Roy. Anthrop. Instit., 1934.Google Scholar

page 315 note 1 H., and Godwin, M. E., Clark, J. D. G., and Clifford, M. H., ‘A Bronze-Age spearhead found in Methwold Fen, Norfolk’, Proc. Prehist. Soc. E. Anglia, 1935.Google Scholar

page 318 note 1 This clay was deposited under water, and at the time of its deposition wide areas of the fenland must have been covered by lagoons.

page 318 note 2 The only good example is furnished by the work of Dr. H. Reinerth and Carl Bertsch at the Federsee, Württemberg. See Reinerth, Das Federseemoor als Siedlungsland des Vorzeitmenschen, Augsburg, 1929, pp. 44–57.

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