Record Details

NHER Number:10602
Type of record:Monument
Name:Broome Heath Enclosure. Neolithic settlement site

Summary

A semi circular earthwork enclosure of Neolithic date. Excavations have shown that although the enclosure itself cannot be firmly dated, it overlay and partly enclosed a Neolithic settlement, with flints and postholes being uncovered. However, there was also evidence of Mesolithic and Early Bronze Age activity, indicating occupation of the site over a long period.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TM 3428 9115
Map Sheet:TM39SW
Parish:DITCHINGHAM, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Semi circular enclosure, Neolithic.

1961. Excavation produced flint and bone.

1970 to 1971. Excavation.
Excavation by Dr. G. J. Wainwright for the D.O.E. This work demonstrated that, for at least part of its length, the enclosure consisted of a double bank and ditch, the inner bank being the more substantial. There was also evidence that it had an external revetment and was topped by a palisade, these fence-like constructions lines of stake-holes.

Various pits, post-holes and hearths were identified within and beyond the enclosure and a fossil soil survived beneath the bank. Early Neolithic pottery was recovered from all of these context and it was notable that the sherds recovered from the surface of the fossil soil, beneath the bank, were unweathered. An Early Neolithic date for the construction and use of this monument was also supported by the small number of radiocarbon dates and the character of the large flint assemblage recovered. The excavation also exposed an interconnected network of trenches that were originally thought to be artificial, but subsequently identified as fossil ice-wedge casts.

The excavation recovered 22,252 worked flints. These included:
20,790 flakes.
399 cores (including 235 single-platform, 61 two-platform, 24 multi-platform, 52 keeled and 27 unclassifiable).
883 scrapers (including 362 end, 28 side, 15 discoidal, 5 hollow, 30 on broken flakes, 228 on primary flakes with cortex remaining and 215 on small irregular flakes).
105 retouched blades (the majority with steep edge retouch).
2 serrated blades.
1 microlith. Also noted in (S10).
4 notched blades.
30 polished axeheads/fragments (including 2 complete examples, 5 large fragments and 23 chips).
8 laurel leaves.
13 leaf-shaped arrowheads.
2 transverse arrowheads.
1 barbed and tanged arrowhead.
1 notched flake.
6 awls.
2 burins.
2 chopping tools.
1 hammerstone.
1 adze.
1 fabricator/strike-a-light.
The microlith suggest there is at least a small Mesolithic component to this assemblage and it is possible that the notched flakes and blades and at least some of the retouched blades are of a similar date. As noted above the bulk of the assemblage is consistent with an earlier Neolithic date. A proportion of the flints, particularly the smaller, more irregular scrapers were however thought to date to a later (possibly Beaker period) phase of activity.

A small number of stone objects were also recovered including 3 quartzite saddle querns and 8 quartzite pebbles/tabular quartzite fragments smoothed by use as rubbers/polishers.

Other prehistoric pottery sherds recovered during the excavation included a Neolithic Mortlake ware sherd, Beaker sherds and Bronze Age sherds.

The finds from this excavation are held by the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1972.202).

See published report (S1) for further details (in which many of the worked flints and pottery sherds are illustrated). This report also includes a separate report on the fossil ice-wedge casts revealed by the excavation. The above description also draws on the summary of the site in (S11). See also scheduling report (S2) in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 8 February 1991. Amended and expanded by P. Watkins (HES), 26 February 2014.

January 1995.
RCHME Earthworks Survey (S4)

August 2000. Visit.
A greater part of the earthwork covered in gorse and scrub, some under short heathland grass.
H. Paterson (A&E), 6 October 2000.

February 2001.
Management statement (S3) signed 10 February 2001.
H. Paterson (A&E), 14 February 2001.

July 2006. Norfolk NMP
Earthworks of a banked enclosure of Neolithic date are visible on aerial photographs (S5-S9). The central grid reference for this earthwork has been amended from TM 3432 9108 to TM 3429 9116. A curvilinear earthwork bank defines a roughly C-shaped curvilinear enclosure. Internally the enclosure measures approximately 150m from north to south by 100m west to east. The eastern side of the enclosure is open and not defined by a bank. Excavations (S1) have demonstrated that this side of the enclosure had probably been left open. The excavations, which were carried out between 1966 and 1971, revealed evidence of a Neolithic settlement within the enclosure (S1). A 50m section of the northern part of the enclosure is cut by gardens and no longer survives as a significant earthwork. A narrow outer bank is present as an earthwork at the southern end of the enclosure and was also identified by the excavations. The position of the bank on the southwest side of the enclosure is actually closer to Green Lane than is shown on the 1:10000 Ordnance Survey map. This appears to be deliberate, with the earthwork shown further to the northeast to allow enough space for the hachure symbols to be shown at that scale. Because the bank defining the enclosure survives to a height of only 0.6m (S4) it is often masked by vegetation and does not show well on all aerial photographs. Some aerial photographs (S7-S8) show the excavations in progress. The enclosure lies 150m to the southwest of Broome Heath Neolithic long barrow (NHER 10597) and close to two Bronze Age round barrows (NHER 10611, 10624). These earthworks all lie on the gravel terrace of the River Waveney at 5m OD. The enclosure earthwork is protected as a scheduled ancient monument (S2).
J. Albone (NMP), 18 July 2006

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • CURVILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • HEARTH (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • PIT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POST HOLE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • HEARTH (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • LITHIC WORKING SITE (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • POUND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • WHETSTONE (Undated)
  • ADZE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • CHOPPER (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FABRICATOR? (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • HAMMERSTONE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POLISHER (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • NOTCHED BLADE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • RETOUCHED BLADE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • AWL (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • BURIN (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • CORE (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • END SCRAPER (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • LAUREL LEAF (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • LEAF ARROWHEAD (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • NOTCHED FLAKE (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 3001 BC?)
  • POLISHED AXEHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • RETOUCHED BLADE (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • SADDLE QUERN (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • SERRATED BLADE (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • SIDE AND END SCRAPER (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • SIDE SCRAPER (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • TRANSVERSE ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • BARBED AND TANGED ARROWHEAD (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • POT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Archive: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Article in serial: Healy, F. 1984. Recent Finds of Neolithic Bowl Pottery in Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXIX Pt I pp 65-82.
---Thesis: Garrow, D.. 2006. Pits, Settlement and Deposition during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age in East Anglia. during the Neolithic and Early Pits, Settlement and Deposition during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age in East Anglia.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic. Ditchingham.
---Article in serial: 1963. Archaeological Discoveries in Norfolk, 1961. Norfolk Research Committee Bulletin. Series 1 No 14 (for 1961 and 1962) pp 1-3. p 2.
---Article in serial: Ashbee, P. 1972. Excavation at Ditchingham. Norfolk Research Committee Newsletter and Bulletin. Series 2 No 4 pp 15-16.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Article in serial: Garrow, D. 2007. Placing Pits: Landscape Occupation and Depositional Practice During the Neolithic in East Anglia. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol 73 pp 1-24.
<S1>Article in serial: Wainwright, G. 1972. The Excavation of a Neolithic Settlement on Broome Heath, Ditchingham, Norfolk. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol 38 pp 1-97.
<S2>Scheduling record: English Heritage. Scheduling Report.
<S3>Unpublished document: H. Paterson (A&E), MPP. Section 17 Management Agreement.
<S4>Unpublished document: RCHME. 1995. An Enclosure on Broome Heath, Ditchingham, Norfolk: Enclosure and Industry in the Neolithic.
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/930 4092-3 16-OCT-1945 (NHER TM 3392A / TM 3491A).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1716 3093-4 06-SEP-1946 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1967. OS/67056 157-8 24-APR-1967 (NMR).
<S8>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1971. CUCAP (BEQ59-64) 19-JAN-1971.
<S9>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1981. NHER TM 3491E-F (NLA 117/ARJ10-1) 17-AUG-1981.
<S10>Archive: R. Jacobi. -. Jacobi Archive. 10263.
<S11>Thesis: Healy, F.. 1978. The Neolithic in Norfolk. p 439.

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