29 JulExcavation of a metalled trackway

Excavating the metalled trackway

We began work investigating a large area of dark soil and patchy surface metalling. A 7m by 4.5m slot was excavated. Working from South-East to North-West we initially exposed compact metalling consisting of small to medium dark rounded pebbles. Occasionally animal bone was set within the metalling and in one area disarticulated human bone consisting of a large skull fragment, vertebrae and other bone fragments. Immediately adjacent to the skull a curved iron object was found, either an Iron Age bill-hook or sickle. Though the distribution of both human and animal bone has been suggested as being ritual it would appear the animal bone was used as part of the metalling surface which formed a substantial trackway. Wheras it is currently unclear whether the human bone has been used in the same way or originates from the spread of dark soil above.

Overhead view of the trackway under excavation

The metalled trackway was cut by two North-East to South-West aligned ditches of Roman date. Two rounded pits to the North-West appeared to be cut by one of the ditches but further investigation is necessary.

Kirsty Bone
Laura O’Shea

One Response to “Excavation of a metalled trackway”

  1. Simon Mason says:

    Well done Kirsty and Laura. A superb feature on this very important Iron Age and Roman village that you are excavating. It is very unusual to find such well preserved Iron Age trackways and all the bone scattered on it is particularly interesting. Tracing the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman tracks across the landscape in this area of Thanet has been very rewarding so far and has shown us that many of the features we see on modern maps have very early origins.

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