A team from OA South completed trial trenching and targeted excavation just west of the village of Aller, next to the Somerset levels. The work was commissioned by British Solar Renewables ahead of the construction of a new solar farm, and focused on two enclosures that had been identified by an earlier geophysical survey.

The larger of the enclosures had a rectangular plan, with a southerly entrance, and was defined by a boundary ditch, which contained early to middle Bronze Age pottery, and was overlain by a Roman trackway. Within its interior was a scattering of postholes, which may represent internal divisions, as well as a few small pits. Interestingly, one of the pits produced a pierced, worked stone object, a single fragment of animal bone, and a pot base, which may represent an intentionally placed deposit. Similarly, a second pit, near the enclosure’s entrance, contained the near-complete skeleton of a cow. It is possible, therefore, that this enclosure functioned as a meeting place or corral.

The smaller enclosure differed from its counterpart in that it was square and was bounded by a continuous ditch containing early Bronze Age pottery. Importantly, at its centre were three cremation burials, two of which contained animal bone suggesting that they were associated with pyre goods. The cremation burials were all dated to between 1960 and 1760 cal BC, and represent the remains of three adults, of whom two are likely to be female. There are no known parallels with this type of mortuary enclosure from this date, and two round barrows in the immediate vicinity of the site have carbon dates either side of the Aller Court enclosure.


mobile