Excavation of a Neolithic pit at Willington Lock Quarry

Earlier this year Archaeological Research Services Ltd excavated a small group of Neolithic features at Willington Lock Quarry following the stripping of topsoil and before the start of gravel extraction.  These features were clustered on the edge of the gravel terrace overlooking the river Great Ouse.  Flint implements and other material recovered from these features have recently been analysed.

In all, sixteen humanly-struck pieces of flint, a small quantity of burnt animal bone and 53 fragments of pottery that came a single pit have been studied.  The flint implements include four items that had been used as knives, fragments of an axe head and a retouched flake that was possibly used as a piercer. Most of the animal bone is fully calcined, and includes fragments of medium-sized mammals, probably sheep/goat and/or roe deer. Portions of at least two round-based vessels are represented by the pottery fragments, with impressed decoration in the style known as Peterborough Ware – which was current during the Middle Neolithic period (i.e. in the first half of the 3rd millennium BC).

Fragments of Peterborough Ware vessels and flint implements came from some of the other features in this part of the site.  It is hoped that there will be sufficient organic material from these features which can be used for radiocarbon dating.  Further archaeological investigations at the site later this year may reveal further remains dating to the Neolithic period.

We recently shared more information in a post about our excavations at Willington Lock. You can read the post here.

The video below shows the moment that a flint knife was unearthed from within the pit.

Archaeological Research Services Ltd