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Wisbech St Mary 2007

Wisbech St Mary 2007 Pottery Report

Wisbech St Mary 2007 Test Pit Location Map

Seven test pits were excavated in Wisbech St Mary in 2007 adding to the seven excavated in 2006. Three of these (WSM/07/1, WSM/07/5 and WSM/07/6, all occupying the more elevated, easterly margins of the present village, produced small amounts of Romano-British pottery. In test pit WSM/07/1 a total of six sherds included a very large fragment (59g) of 2nd century AD Romano-British shelly ware, which was one of two sherds recovered from undisturbed levels 0.6-0.8m below the present ground surface, which were interpreted as a probable buried ploughsoil of early Roman date. Three fragments of Roman ceramic building material including part of a box flue tile found in WSM07/6 seem to hint at the presence of a higher-status building nearby. Overall, the distribution of Roman material from Wisbech St Mary suggests a quite extensive spread of low-intensity activity, probably cultivation, east of the present church, perhaps associated with a nearby villa, and much more intensive activity 600m east of the eastern limit of the present village, originating in the Iron Age as saltern and continuing in some form into the early Roman period.

No pottery dating to the Anglo-Saxon period has been found in any of the 14 test pits excavated at Wisbech St Mary to date. However, in 2007 test pits WSM/07/1 and 07/5 were the first of the excavations carried out by HEFA to produce medieval material of pre-14th century date, with WSM/07/1 containing a total of 6 sherds, which may hint at the presence of settlement nearby. A smaller number of high medieval sherds from WSM/07/5, well outside the present village, are more likely to represent low-intensity activity such as cultivation. Small amounts of 14th and 15th century pottery from these same two test pits complement the material found in pits 06/1 and 06/2 near the church in 2006. It is impossible to say at this stage whether these two zones indicate that settlement in the later medieval period was arranged as two separate nodes, but it does seem likely that occupation at Wisbech St Mary in the medieval period was of very limited extent and intensity.