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Hessett 2009

Hessett 2009 Pottery Report

Hessett 2009 Test Pit Location Map

Nine test pits were excavated in Hessett in 2009, bringing the total over four years to thirty-six. The focus was on filling in gaps in between previous test pit excavation sites and in targeting some new isolated sites beyond the present village. Most of these are now single farms, two of which are surrounded by moats. A further test pit (HES/09/06) was sited immediately north of an unoccupied moated site of unknown date. No new Roman material was found in 2009, and it remains the case that there is no evidence to suggest that any of the present areas of settlement in Hessett parish were in existence in the Roman period. Only one site produced any pottery of Anglo-Saxon date, this being HES/09/03, on the northern edge of Hessett Green, which yielded a single 6g sherd of Thetford Ware. No pre-twelfth-century pottery has been found in any of the sites beyond Hessett and Hessett Green, a pattern in marked contrast to those in other areas of dispersed settlement investigated by the HEFA CORS programme, such as Carleton Rode and Chediston where the dispersed pattern of settlement clearly does seem to be developing in the later Anglo-Saxon period. Three of the new outlying sites produced pottery of twelfth to fourteenth century date (HES/09/05, HES/09/07 and HES/09/08), although only at Lawney's Farm did this amount to more than a single small sherd (very small quantities of small sherds are likely to be indicative of manuring rather than intensive occupation). Some evidence for late medieval contraction remains apparent at Hessett, with Lawney's Farm and Hessett Green apparently deserted and Hessett itself seeing a marked reduction in the volume of material from the southern end of the present village and to the north-west of the church. This decline appears to have been reversed in the post-medieval period, although there remains little sign of activity in most of Hessett Green until the nineteenth or even twentieth centuries.