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Archaeological fieldwork preceding housing development revealed a Mesolithic site in a primary context. A central hearth was evident from a cluster of calcined flint and bone, the latter producing a modelled date for the start of occupation at 8220–7840 cal bc and ending at 7960–7530 cal bc (95% probability). The principal activity was the knapping of bladelets, the blanks for microlith production. Impact-damaged microliths indicated the re-tooling of hunting weaponry, while microwear analysis of other tools demonstrated hide working and butchery activity at the site. The lithics can be classified as a Honey Hill assemblage type on the basis of distinctive leaf-shaped microlithic points with inverse basal retouch.
Such assemblages have a known concentration in central England and are thought to be temporally intermediate between the conventional British Early and Late Mesolithic periods. The lithic assemblage is compared to other Honey Hill type and related Horsham type assemblages from south-eastern England. Both assemblage types are termed Middle Mesolithic and may be seen as part of wider developments in the late Preboreal and Boreal periods of north-west Europe. Rapid climatic warming at this time saw the northward expansion of deciduous woodland into north-west Europe. Emerging new ecosystems presented changes in resource patterns and the Middle Mesolithic lithic typo-technological developments reflect novel foraging strategies as adaptations to the new opportunities of Boreal forest conditions. While Honey Hill-type assemblages are seen as part of such wider processes their distinctive typological signature attests to autochthonous, regional developments of human groups infilling the landscape. Such cultural insularity may reflect changing social boundaries with reduction in mobility range and physical isolation caused by rising sea level and the creation of the British archipelago.
The recording and analysis of a burnt mound and adjacent palaeochannel deposits on the floodplain of the River Soar in Leicestershire revealed that the burnt mound was in use, possibly for a number of different purposes, at the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. An extensive radiocarbon dating programme indicated that the site was revisited. Human remains from the palaeochannel comprised the remains of three individuals, two of whom pre-dated the burnt mound by several centuries while the partial remains of a third, dating from the Late Bronze Age, provided evidence that this individual had met a violent death. These finds, along with animal bones dating to the Iron Age, and the remains of a bridge from the early medieval period, suggest that people were drawn to this location over a long period of time.
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