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Blenheim Net Zero Project, Woodstock, Oxfordshire

Howsam, Charlotte Blenheim Net Zero Project, Woodstock, Oxfordshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Oxford Archaeology carried out an archaeological evaluation on the site of a proposed solar farm that forms part of the Blenheim Net Zero Project, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, in October 2020. The fieldwork was commissioned by Blenheim Estate in support of a planning application. A preceding geophysical survey of the 12ha site undertaken in May 2020 detected a small number of anomalies of possible and probable archaeological origin. These were suggestive of successive trackways or field boundaries, a D-shaped enclosure and a ring ditch. The geophysical survey results also reflect numerous variations in the natural geology and modern agricultural land use activities. A total of 66 trenches were investigated across an 8.9ha area of the site that will be directly impacted upon by the proposed development, the majority of which were targeted upon geophysical anomalies. Of these, seven trenches were found to contain archaeological remains comprising a small number of ditches and pits concentrated in the south of the site. A moderately good correlation between the results of the geophysical survey and archaeological evaluation was demonstrated. A small quantity of worked flint and a pit containing broadly middle Bronze Age to early Iron Age pottery provides limited evidence of low-level prehistoric activity on site and within the surrounding landscape. A series of parallel ditches appear to have delineated a trackway that crossed the south of the site on an ENE–WSW alignment. The offset nature of one of the ditches is suggestive of a different phase of the same trackway or perhaps an associated field boundary. No associated metalled surfaces were revealed by the evaluation. Small quantities of early and middle Roman pottery and animal bones provide evidence of deposition that may have been related to nearby settlement activity. Earthwork and cropmark evidence suggest that the trackway was connected to a nearby Roman farmstead (Scheduled Monument No. 1006357). The trackway perhaps formed part of a local network associated with Akeman Street located to the north, connecting nearby settlement and villa sites to the major Roman road. Limited late post-medieval/modern remains are demonstrative of agricultural use of the landscape during this period.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD > Early Iron Age 800 - 400 BC
Period > UK Periods > Bronze Age 2500 - 700 BC > Middle Bronze Age 1600 - 1,000 BC
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
ID Code:5939
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:25 Feb 2021 11:12
Last Modified:25 Feb 2021 11:12

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