An Iron-Age Settlement and Remains of Earlier Prehistoric Date beneath South Shields Roman Fort, Tyne and Wear.
journal contributionposted on 01.08.2011, 14:06 by N. Hodgson, G.C. Stobbs, Marijke Van der Veen, A.T. Croom, C. Waddington
Excavation of an area of over 750 sq.m. during 1992-94 and 1999 revealed a multi-period prehistoric site preserved beneath the Roman fort. Flints attested mesolithic activity. In the early Neolithic a segmented ditch may represent part of a causewayed enclosure. By c. 3000 cal. B.C. this had been superseded (in this area) by pits and shelters associated with flint-knapping. Finds, but not structures, attest a bronze-age presence. Within the period 390-170 cal. B.C. a roundhouse with cultivation plot, part of an unenclosed settlement, occupied the area. This had been burnt and was rich in carbonised plant remains which provided information about the arable economy and spatial variations in the use of the roundhouse interior. In the later Iron Age the area was reclained by cultivation associated with an unlocated settlement. The nature of the occupation on the eve of the Roman period is not known.