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Daws Heath 2013

Daws Heath 2012 Pottery Report

Daws Heath 2012 Test Pit Location Map


Twelve test pits were dug at Daws Heath in 2013 by HEFA students and local historical society members, sited widely across the present settlement including at Wyburns/Tylerset (DHE/13/07), Haresland (DHE/13/08) and Bramblehall (DHE/13/10).  Very few identifiably pre-modern artefacts were recovered from any of the test pits. Many of the Daws Heath test pits produced worked flint, especially along the northern side of the present settlement, suggesting long-standing low-intensity use of the area. Notably, a worked flint flake from DHE/13/01 had been retouched along its ventral/concave side and was recovered from the top of a well-defined post hole, suggesting a structure of some sort was present in the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age.   

Other than this, however, the earliest material recovered dates to the high medieval period. Only very small amounts of this were recovered, with DHE/13/08 and DHE/13/12 each producing just a single small sherd. Although this number of sherds is insufficient to infer settlement in the vicinity, it is interesting to note that both these pits were on or near sites whose names are recorded in medieval documents (Wyburns and Haresland). Three pits produced pottery of later medieval date, a slight increase when compared with the earlier period. Two of these are the same sites which produced high medieval pottery, and the third (DHE/13/4) is within 50m of DHE/13/12. All bar one (DHE/13/11) of the 2013 pits produced post-medieval pottery, but in very modest quantities, with only two sites producing more than four sherds and none more than 10.

Although it is difficult to make any substantive observations based on the relatively small number of pits excavated so far, it does appear that the area, while one of perhaps quite widespread prehistoric activity, was not much used in the Roman and Anglo-Saxon period, and sparsely settled, if at all in the medieval period. There is little evidence for any decline in this low level of activity in the later medieval period. Activity in the post-medieval period seems to have been more widespread rather than seated in just two locations, but remained very sparse until, it would seem, the 20th century.