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Chester Amphitheatre Project Blog


Welcome to the official Blog of the Chester Amphitheatre Project.

Wednesday, June 21

First Iron Age Archaeology to be Found in Chester

Amphitheatre Site: area A

A pair of large post-holes were discovered beneath the Pre-Roman ground surface at the end of the 2005 excavation season. The dimensions of these post-holes suggests that they held timber posts 0.5m in diameter.

Wood charcoal from one of these post-holes was sent to the University of Waikato (in New Zealand) for radio-carbon dating at the end of May this year and the results came back early in June. They indicate that the timber posts that were set in the post-holes were removed sometime between 390-180 CalBC (Wk 19120), which means that the building that they form part of dates to the middle of the Iron Age. This is a period for which we have very little evidence in the Northwest of England and the post-holes represent the first Iron Age archaeology ever to be found in Chester.

Overlying these post-holes was a thick grey layer which appeared to cover most of the excavation trench except where it had been removed by more recent interventions (such as the walls of the amphitheatre, medieval cess pits etc). This layer remains largely unexcavated at present but is believed to represent the original (pre-Roman) ground surface. Pollen samples taken from two exposed sections of this layer have produced good results and an initial assessment has identified alder, hazel, grass and cereal pollen suggesting that the surrounding area had been managed as part of an arable farming regime (possibly an Iron Age farmstead).

A larger area of the pre-Roman ground surface is being removed this year to try and locate more post-holes in order to identify what type of structure they belong to.

posted by Cheryl Quinn at 17:08



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