27th January 2017:

A team from Oxford Archaeology is shedding new light on Newark-on-Trent’s past, with Iron Age roundhouses and Roman pottery kilns among the discoveries at a major archaeological excavation

Archaeologists are currently investigating the site on behalf of Urban and Civic Plc in advance of a major residential and commercial development and provision of communal facilities. This first phase of development has seen the large-scale stripping of nearly 12 square hectares of land located in the northeast corner of the development, where a significant archaeological landscape has been exposed.

Excavations have identified the remains of a predominantly Iron Age settlement, with nearly a dozen roundhouses and numerous pits and other features set within an extensive system of ditched enclosures and land divisions. The features contain tantalising clues about life in the settlement. A significant assemblage of pottery has been recovered from some of the pits, and residues of metalworking have also been found. There is also evidence for activity dating before the Iron Age. Worked flint, potentially of Mesolithic to Neolithic date, and Bronze Age pottery have been found, though mainly as residual finds in later features.

During the Roman period, a large ditched enclosure appears to have formed the focus for significant activity, much of which industrial in character. There is more evidence of metalworking, and at least four well-preserved pottery kilns, cut into the top of the infilled enclosure ditch, have been excavated.

As part of Oxford Archaeology’s commitment to community outreach and dissemination of information, the team is looking forward to hosting visits by local branches of the Young Archaeologists’ Club.

Fieldwork is ongoing, and a subsequent phase of post-excavation analysis will be required before a full report on the results can be published. The results so far, however, indicate a long-lived and extensive history to Newark and its wider environment, which Oxford Archaeology, in partnership with Urban and Civic Plc, has been proud to reveal.

Click here to read more about the site.