Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Archaeologists Uncover Prehistoric Landscape Beneath Oxford University, England

Date:
November 9, 2009
Source:
University of Oxford
Summary:
Archaeologists excavating the former Radcliffe Infirmary site in Oxford have uncovered evidence of a prehistoric monumental landscape stretching across the gravel terrace between the Thames and Cherwell rivers.

Archaeologists excavating the former Radcliffe Infirmary site in Oxford have uncovered evidence of a prehistoric monumental landscape stretching across the gravel terrace between the Thames and Cherwell rivers.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Oxford

Archaeologists excavating the former Radcliffe Infirmary site in Oxford have uncovered evidence of a prehistoric monumental landscape stretching across the gravel terrace between the Thames and Cherwell rivers.

The work was carried out over the summer in preparation for Oxford University's proposed Radcliffe Observatory Quarter -- plans for which were revealed earlier this month.

In addition to these findings, the work has also uncovered evidence of a 6th century Saxon settlement, including a sunken featured craft hut known as a Grόbenhauser and a pit containing unfired clay loom weights.

A team from Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) has been excavating parts of the 3.7 hectare site. The excavation has revealed evidence of three large prehistoric 'ring ditches' along with some evidence of possible associated cremation burials and an enigmatic rectangular enclosure, finds from which are currently being subjected to radio carbon dating.

Mike Wigg, Head of Capital Projects at Oxford University, said: 'The University was delighted to provide the opportunity for an investigation of Oxford heritage to be carried out in advance of any development work.'

The River Thames was an important focus for monument building in the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods when monuments used for burial, ritual and social purposes were constructed along the gravel terraces of the river.

A spokesperson from MOLA explained: 'Ring ditches are, as the name suggests, circular ditches, which are often the remains of ploughed out barrows, that may be associated with burials of high status individuals in the later Neolithic or Bronze Age, about 4000 years ago.'

The archaeologists had suspected the presence of prehistoric remains because a 12th century documentary source records 'the croft of the three barrows' in this area. Parch marks of a possible sequence of ring ditches in University Parks had indicated that similar remains might be present on the Radcliffe site.

The Saxon activity around the much earlier barrow cemetery is not uncommon and is recorded at other similar sites along the Thames. However, this is the first evidence for such a relationship in Oxford. The archaeologists are now working on the post-excavation phase of the project.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Oxford. "Archaeologists Uncover Prehistoric Landscape Beneath Oxford University, England." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091106110557.htm>.
University of Oxford. (2009, November 9). Archaeologists Uncover Prehistoric Landscape Beneath Oxford University, England. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091106110557.htm
University of Oxford. "Archaeologists Uncover Prehistoric Landscape Beneath Oxford University, England." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091106110557.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire

Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire

AP (July 22, 2014) — Authorities say a 241-year-old church on the National Register of Historic Places has been ravaged by fire in Maryland. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) — Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) — As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) — Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins