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Willington

A late Neolithic/ealry bronze age ring ditch
An assortment of microliths
Pottery assemblage analysis

The Mercia Marina site lies near Willington in south Derbyshire, in the Trent Valley. Wide river valleys have been attractive places of settlement throughout human history in Britain, due to the fertile and free draining nature of the glacial sands and gravels which form the uppermost level of geological strata in these areas, and the Trent Valley is no exception to this. The wider area around Willington has been investigated by archaeologists for the past century or more, and contains many sites of archaeological importance including Early Neolithic settlements, Cursus monuments (large enclosures which run for miles across the landscape like trackways), Later Neolithic/Early Bronze Age funerary monuments (mainly ring ditch barrows), Iron Age and Romano-British settlement sites with clear boundaries and Anglo-Saxon houses.

ARS Ltd undertook a 'strip and record' excavation on two areas in advance of the creation of Europe's largest inland marina. The excavation was targeted on areas that had been previouly evaluated with trial trenches and geophysics, and that contained substantial cropmark evidence for a ring ditch and several large linear boundaries.

  • The excavation yielded many features and finds from a date range spanning all prehistoric human occupation in this region including:
  • Possible Late Upper Palaeolithic stone tools from the glacial gravels.
  • Mesolithic flint tools and a possible Mesolithic pit feature.
  • Early Neolithic midden pits containing Early Neolithic pottery.
  • Early Bronze Age cremation burials, 'triangular' post-built structures and a circular post-built structure.
  • Early Bronze Age ring ditch features.
  • Iron Age/Romano-British boundary ditch features.

 

To visit the website for Mercia Marina click here

To download a copy of the archive report detailing the full excavations and specialist analyses click here