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Cottenham 2011

Cottenham 2011 Pottery Report

Cottenham 2011 Test Pit Location Map

Nine more test pits were excavated in Cottenham in 2011 bringing the total to thirty-four. The 2011 test pits were sited throughout the present village, sited to fill gaps between previous excavation sites.

COT/11/06, on Rooks Street in the centre of the present village, revealed part of a mortar floor and associated features of Romano-British date. Roman and Victorian pottery were both recovered, suggesting a lot of disturbance, but it seems likely that part of a robbed-out stone wall was associated with remnants of a mortar floor and a small post hole, although no finds were found in the latter. These all appear to be part of a Roman building, constructed on the site of earlier Iron Age activity. Test pits along Rooks Street and adjacent Margett Street have consistently produced evidence for occupation throughout the later prehistoric, Roman, Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods, and so it is particularly interesting to find evidence for in situ features which may relate to one of these early undocumented periods of Cottenham’s past development.

Little new material of 9th - 11th century AD date was found in 2011, and while several pits produced pottery of high medieval date, only one (COT/11/08) produced any dating to the late medieval period. These findings reinforce the impression from earlier test pit excavations that Cottenham experienced severe contraction at the end of the high medieval period, when the northern end of the village (near the present site of the church) may even have been abandoned, while settlement in the centre was much reduced in size and intensity. However, all parts of the existing settlement seem to have experienced considerable post-medieval regeneration.