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Early Neolithic Pits and Artefact Scatters at North Fen, Sutton Gault, Cambridgeshire

  • Jonathan Tabor (a1), Lawrence Billington (a2), Frances Healy (a3) and Mark Knight (a1)
Abstract

This paper presents the results of an excavation at North Fen, Sutton Gault, Cambridgeshire, which revealed evidence of Early Neolithic occupation comprising some 48 pits together with two in situ artefact scatters preserved within buried soil horizons. Largely as a result of the spatial separation between scatters and pit sites/clusters, it has been possible to identify a series of ‘sites’, which appear to represent temporally discrete episodes of activity ranging from task-specific ‘visits’ to relatively long-lived occupation. Through analysis of pottery and flint assemblages an attempt is made to characterise each individual site in terms of the types of activities undertaken there and to consider their scale and duration. Set within a landscape that has seen extensive archaeological investigation over the past 30 years the excavation also provides an excellent opportunity to explore how these sites relate to activity in the wider locale and to what extent it is possible to characterise Early Neolithic occupation at a landscape scale.

Fosses et artifacts dispersés du néolithique ancien à North Fen, Sutton Gault, Cambridgeshire, de Jonathan Tabor

Cet article présente les résultats d’une fouille à North Fen, Sutton Gault, Cambridgeshire, qui a révélé des vestiges d’une occupation du néolithique ancien comprenant quelques 48 fosses ainsi que deux exemples d’artifacts dispersés in situ préservés dans des horizons de sol enterrés. En grande partie grâce à une séparation spatiale entre dispersions et sites ou groupes de fosses, il a été possible d’identifier une série de ‘sites’ qui semblent représenter des épisodes d’activité, temporellement discontinus, allant de ‘visites’ pour une tâche spécifique à des occupations d’une durée relativement longue. Au moyen d’une analyse de la poterie et des assemblages de silex, nous tentons de caractériser chaque site individuel en termes de types d’activités qui s’y déroulaient et de considérer leur échelle et leur durée. Située à l’intérieur d’un paysage qui a été témoin d’extensives recherches archéologiques au cours des 30 dernières années, la fouille nous fournit également une excellente occasion d’explorer comment ces sites se rattachent à l’activité dans une région plus étendue et jusqu’à quel point on peut caractériser une occupation du néolithique ancien à l’échelle du paysage.

Frühneolithische Gruben und Fundstreuungen in North Fen, Sutton Gault, Cambridgeshire, von Jonathan Tabor

Dieser Beitrag präsentiert die Ergebnisse einer Ausgrabung in North Fen, Sutton Gault, Cambridgeshire. Die Grabung erbrachte Informationen zu einer frühneolithischen Besiedlung, bestehend aus etwa 48 Gruben sowie zwei in situ befindlichen Artefaktstreuungen, die in konservierten Bodenhorizonten erhalten blieben. Vor allem aufgrund der räumlichen Trennung der Streuungen von den Gruben bzw. Grubenhäufungen war es möglich eine Reihe von Fundstellen zu identifizieren, die offenbar zeitlich verschiedene Aktivitätsphasen repräsentieren, die vom Aufsuchen des Ortes für spezifische Tätigkeiten bis hin zu relativ lang dauernder Nutzung reichen. Durch die Analyse von Keramik- und Flintensembles wird versucht jede einzelne Fundstelle in Bezug auf die dort durchgeführten Aktivitäten zu charakterisieren und deren Umfang und Dauer zu erschließen. Die Ausgrabung dieses Ortes, in einer Landschaft gelegen, die während der letzten 30 Jahre extensive archäologische Untersuchungen erlebt hat, bietet zudem eine hervorragende Gelegenheit um zu erforschen, wie diese Fundstellen in Beziehung stehen zu Tätigkeiten in der weiteren Umgebung, aber auch, wie weit es möglich ist die frühneolithische Besiedlung auf Landschaftsebene zu charakterisieren.

Hoyos y dispersiones de artefactos del Neolítico Antiguo en North Fen, Sutton Gault, Cambridgeshire, por Jonathan Tabor.

Este artículo presenta los resultados de una excavación en North Fen, Sutton Gault, Cambridgeshire, que reveló la presencia de una ocupación del Neolítico Antiguo compuesta por 48 hoyos y dos dispersiones de artefactos conservadas en horizontes de paleosuelo. Debido, principalmente, a la separación espacial entre las dispersiones de materiales y las agrupaciones de hoyos, ha sido posible identificar una serie de ‘sitios’ que parecen representar episodios de actividad individualizados temporalmente que abarcan desde ‘visitas’ destinadas a actividades específicas hasta ocupaciones relativamente largas. A través del análisis de los conjuntos cerámicos y líticos se ha pretendido caracterizar individualmente cada sitio en relación con los tipos de actividad desarrollada, considerando su escala y duración. Tratándose de un espacio que ha sido objeto de investigación arqueológica durante los últimos 30 años, la excavación también aporta una excelente oportunidad para analizar cómo se relacionan estos sitios a un nivel de actividad local y en qué medida es posible caracterizar la ocupación del Neolítico Antiguo a una escala de paisaje más amplio.

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