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Houghton and Wyton 2006

Houghton and Wyton 2006 Pottery Report

Houghton and Wyton 2006 Test Pit Location Map

Eight test pits were excavated in the conjoined villages Houghton and Wyton in 2006, the majority of which were located in Wyton (complementing 2005 HEFA investigations which were mainly focussed on Houghton, bringing the total number of test pits excavated over both years to 19. Small quantities of pottery of Roman date were found in pits HAW06/1 and 06/6 (complementing the evidence from HAW05/4 and 05/P in 2005). Roman activity in Houghton and Wyton thus seems to favour the edge of the flood plain in Houghton and along the Huntingdon Road. Pottery of later Anglo-Saxon date was found in pits HAW06/2, 06/3 and 06/8, bringing the number of sites over the two years producing material of this date to five, derived from four sites close to the churches of both villages, and from a site adjacent to the road which currently links them, which may suggest that both settlements were in existence around their respective churches before the Norman Conquest, but that the area between them may also have been used for some purpose by this date.

Nearly all the test pits in both 2006 and 2005 (14 out of 19) produced pottery of C12th-C14th date, hinting at substantial occupation, and probably expansion, of both settlements in this period. Much less material of C15th-C16th date was found anywhere in the village, which may hint at some degree of shrinkage at this date, while a similar paucity of finds from the C17th and C18th suggests that stagnation may have lasted for some time. Notably, this later period is the only one when the pottery distribution seems to indicate a clear separation between the two villages, with no finds of post medieval pottery from any of the pits along Huntingdon Road. Examination of the sections of HAW06/5 and 4, north of Huntingdon Road, neither of which produced any pre-19th century pottery, indicated the presence of arable soils immediately beneath the topsoil suggesting this area was not settled until the early modern period.