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Great Shelford 2008

Great Shelford 2008 Pottery Report

Great Shelford 2008 Test Pit Location Map

Eight new test pits were excavated in Great Shelford in 2008 by university students, adding to the twenty-three excavated in previous years. Most of these were sited in the area around High Green, in the north of the present village, c. 700m north-west of the church. Just one small (2g in weight) sherd of pottery predating the Norman Conquest was recovered, suggesting that this area is extremely unlikely to have been intensively occupied at this time, although it may well have been cultivated, with the presence of the recovered sherd resulting from manuring of arable fields. This is in notable contrast to the volume of ceramic material recovered dating to between c. 1100 - 1400, which convincingly indicates that this element of the settlement is a post-Conquest extension to an earlier settlement (possibly comprising two separate foci) to the south-west. The inference of post-thirteenth-century decline, noted in 2007 was supported by data from the excavations of 2008, with almost none of the pits producing any ceramic material at all from this period. It now seems clear that Great Shelford experienced considerable contraction in the later medieval period, particularly in the then relatively newly established High Green area.