FIELDWALKING AT OVINGDEAN
The finds collected from the fieldwalking at Ovingdean in February of
this year have now been washed and identified. There are several
concentrations of both flint flakes, tools and fire-cracked flint.
The majority of flintwork has a white patination and the quantities
of material found would suggest some exploitation of the resources
from the cliffs at Rottingdean and Ovingdean. One concentration of
fire-cracked flint suggests the possible location of a flint cairn.
Oyster shells provide evidence for utilisation of local marine resources.
Pottery dating from both the Roman and Medieval periods was
collected. The medieval pottery, located close to the church, raises
the possibility of a hamlet or village close by associated with the
church of St.Wulfrans. The Roman pottery certainly points to some
form of Roman settlement in this area and a geophysical survey is
planned for the near future. All the finds are being plotted on to
dot density computer diagrams to determine the focus of the
concentrations and provide information for future fieldwork. An
adjacent field will be the subject of another fieldwalking project
FIELD ACTIVITIES IN STANMER
The BHAS Field Unit have been undertaking a number of Projects within
Stanmer parish this spring and summer. At the request of both
Brighton and Hove Council and English Heritage investigations
involving surveying, geophysics and excavation have been carried out.
GEOPHYSICS AT COLDEAN LANE CAR PARK
A small area surrounding the car park in Coldean Lane was the subject
of a geophysical survey during June. The project was also used as a
training programme for members of the BHAS unit. The object of the
exercise was to examine the lands to the east of the Downsview Bronze
Age site found during the creation of the Brighton bypass. The survey
incorporated the examination of an Ancient Scheduled Monument, a
possible Bronze Age tumulus. Permission for this was granted by
English Heritage. An area of almost 1600 metres square was covered.
The results highlight a circle of low readings surrounding the
tumulus suggesting the remains of a ditch. New discreet areas of low
readings were found but little evidence for a continuation of the
Bronze Age site known from the earlier excavations.
SURVEYING AT PUDDING BAG WOOD, STANMER
A linear earthworks in Pudding Bag Wood is the focus of attention for
a number of features in this area. A number of depressions lie to the
north east of the linear feature in Pudding Bag Wood (sometimes
called cross ridge dykes). An ancient Scheduled Monument of a tumulus
is found close by. Other depressions are located close to the Stanmer
boundary walls and at the southern end of the linear earthworks. The
features were included in a complete survey of this area.
Local information is that the wall surrounding Stanmer was built by
Napoleonic prisoners of war, and the depressions may be the result of
flint extraction, further excavations would be required to attempt to
date the features accurately. The depression to the south of the
'cross ridge dyke' cuts into the dyke itself and must be of later
date. The tumulus surveyed is considered as being a pond barrow, but
closer examination would suggest it is probably a robbed bowl barrow.
EXCAVATIONS AT PUDDING BAG WOOD
English Heritage are anxious to Schedule the features from both
Pudding Bag Wood and Stanmer Great Wood. The BHAS Field Unit were
asked to try and date the features prior to the scheduling. A section
through the Pudding Bag Wood linear feature had been cut in the
1960's by Walter Gorton and Charlie Yeates, but little had been found.
The location of the old excavation was easily located and the soil
removed down to the natural clay with flint and chalk outcrops. It
was found on examination, that while the bank of the earthworks had
been sectioned the associate ditch was never excavated. The section
was drawn and photographed and then cut back a further 50 centimetres.
Individual finds were recorded in both distance and depth to identify
discreet stratigraphy, the information provided being transferred to
computer graphics. A broken barbed and tanged arrowhead was found in
the upper levels of the ditch. Initial examination of the flint
material by Chris Butler has raised the possibility of Neolithic
rather than Iron Age construction, but a complete report will be
required before final conclusions are drawn.
EXCAVATIONS AT STANMER GREAT WOOD
A similar excavation of a linear feature in Stamner Great Wood is in
progress. This linear earthworks is significantly smaller than the
Pudding Bag Wood feature. The ditch from this excavation has again
produced flint material but more pottery from the central layers. The
pottery is flint tempered and initial examination would suggest an
Iron Age date. The pottery will be the subject of expert
investigation for confirmation. The finds are again being recorded
with individual locations being recorded and placed into computer
EXCAVATIONS AT ROCKY CLUMP, STANMER
An area of 72 square metres has been the subject of topsoil removal,
north of the existing excavations. Features including a ditch, post
holes and possible floor layer have been revealed. The excavation
will continue until late October.
Mark Gardiner has examined the new pottery found from Stretham and
has picked out those pieces he considers require illustration. Mark
has amended his original report to include the new pottery. Once the
drawings are complete the report on the Stretham Manor moated site
will be ready for submission to the Sussex Archaeological Collections.