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Isleham 2012

Isleham 2012 Pottery Report

Isleham 2012 Test Pit Excavation Map

Eleven test pits were excavated in Isleham in 2011 by pupils from the nearby secondary school in Mildenhall as part of their History GCSE, bringing the total number of pits excavated here to twenty-two. Seven of the pits excavated in 2012 were sited in the east of the present village, where fewer pits had previously been excavated, with ISL/12/05, ISL/12/06, ISL/12/07 and ISL/12/08 all near the hythe identified by Sue Oosthuizen.

Little material of an identifiable early date was found, with no Romano-British or Anglo-Saxon pottery recovered. This may be explained by the fact that none of the 2012 pits were in the Little London area where prehistoric and Roman pottery was found in test pits in 2011. The 2012 pits also produced relatively little medieval material, with ISL/12/08 and ISL/12/10 the only ones to yield more than a single sherd of high medieval pottery. Even these produced just three and two sherds respectively, not enough to infer settlement in the immediate vicinity. Rather unusually, test pits ISL/12/01 and ISL/12/10 both produced more pottery dating to the later medieval than to the high medieval, although numbers of sherds of this date are also low. Overall, the picture which is emerging of medieval settlement at Isleham seems to be one in which activity in the late Anglo-Saxon period is restricted in extent, focused in the area north of the church closer to one of the hythes, with activity in the high medieval period thin around the church but more intensive in the area of the hythes on the north side of the present village, and also in East End. In  later medieval period this general pattern continues, but the settlement seems to thin out into three discrete separate foci, one at East End, one near the hythe north of the church and one in Little London.