Record Details

NHER Number:37349
Type of record:Monument
Name:Early Neolithic site and Early Saxon cemetery, Broom Covert

Summary

An excavation at this site and at NHER 34489 carried out by the CAU in 2000 revealed a nationally important Early Neolithic site made up of over two hundred pits, some of which were grouped into distinct clusters. The pits are probably the remains of an Early Neolithic settlement. A small Early Saxon cemetery was also discovered. The cemetery was associated with a nearby Early Saxon settlement, see NHER 34489, and contained six inhumations and a cremation. Metal detecting in 2007 and 2012 recovered Neolithic scrapers; Roman, medieval and post-medieval coins and Early Saxon, medieval and post-medieval metal objects.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TL 88 83
Map Sheet:TL88SE
Parish:THETFORD, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

July 1999. Site visited after metal detectorists had reported the presence of earthworks.
One northwest-southeast ridge, 0.4m high and 18m wide, was noted at the centre of Broom Covert and was probably a boundary of a smaller and older wood. The other features to the southeast proved to be natural flood plain scarping.
These features, together with Broom Covert, were destroyed by the housing development following the 2002 excavation.
E. Rose (NLA), 26 September 2006.

August-September 2002. Trial Trenching and Excavation.
Archaeological evaluation and subsequent excavation of proposed development area. This work took place soon after the investigation of a large area immediately to the north (NHER 25763/NHER 34489).
A dense group of 138 Early Neolithic pits was excavated. These were found to contain large quantities of worked and burnt flint, pottery, quern stones and hazelnuts. A number of distinct clusters within the pit group were visible, as was seen further to the north in Area A (NHER 34489). The flint assemblage in these pits was similar to that recovered in Area A, consisting primarily of flint-working debris rather than diagnostic tools. This pit group is extremely large, and if viewed in conjunction with that discovered in Area A, represents the largest of its kind yet found in Britain.
A shallow horseshoe-shaped gully was found in association with two pits containing fragments of burnt bone (possible cremations). The gully itself produced no finds whatsoever but was initially dated to the Neolithic. Although it was initially noted that this gully shares certain characteristics with Neolithic mortuary monuments it was subsequently reinterpreted as a Middle Iron Age structure.
The Roman evidence from this site consisted of three pits, all of which contained very few finds and had no obvious purpose.
Six Early Saxon graves and an urned cremation dating from the 6th or 7th century AD were recovered. All of the graves were aligned approximately east-west and all contained grave goods including spears, knives and a shield boss.
A single pit was dated to the 13th or 14th century .
One undated ditch and pit.
The results of this work are now fully published in (S1). See also assessment report (S2) and publication draft (S3). The results of this work are also summarised in (S4). The Early Neolithic pit groups are subject to further discussion in (S5)-(S7).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2006.391).
M. Horlock (NLA), 29 April 2003. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 1 February 2017 and 5 May 2019.

May-June 2007. Metal detecting.
Two medieval coins, medieval and post medieval metal objects.
See lists in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 9 July 2007.

May-June 2012. Metal-detecting.
Two Neolithic scrapers, one Roman and one post-medieval coin, Early Saxon metal objects.
See lists in file.
S. Ashley (HES), 28 May 2012.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • WOOD BANK (Unknown date)
  • CREMATION (Early Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • CREMATION PIT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • GULLY (Early Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • LITHIC WORKING SITE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • PIT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • PIT CLUSTER (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • POST HOLE (Early Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • STRUCTURE (Middle Iron Age - 400 BC to 101 BC)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PIT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • CEMETERY (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • CINERARY URN (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • CREMATION (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • GRAVE (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Early Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • AXEHEAD (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • BLADE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • BORER (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • BURNT FLINT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • CORE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • DEBITAGE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FLAKE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Early Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • LEAF ARROWHEAD (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • PLANT MACRO REMAINS (Early Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • POLISHED AXEHEAD (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • POLISHER (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • POT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • QUERN (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 367 AD to 375 AD)
  • BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BUCKET (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • KNIFE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SHIELD (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SPEAR (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (17th Century - 1625 AD to 1634 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: NCC Find Identification and Recording Service. c. 1975-2000. HES Find Polaroid Collection. HES Find Polaroid Collection. polaroid. black and white.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Monograph: Garrow, D., Lucy, S. & Gibson, D.. 2006. Excavations at Kilverstone, Norfolk: an Episodic Landscape History.. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 113.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Garrow, D. 2003. Excavations At Kilverstone. Broom Covert. Area E. Cambridge Archaeological Unit. 518.
<S3>Unpublished Report: Garrow, D., Lucy, S. & Gibson, D. et al. 2004. Cambridge Archaeological Unit Report. Excavations at Kilverstone, Norfolk: The Neolithic pit cluster, later prehistoric, Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon occupation and later activity. Publication draft. Vol I and II.
<S4>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2003. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk, 2002. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt II pp 368-384. p 374.
<S5>Article in Serial: Garrow, D., Beadsmoore, E. and Knight, M. 2005. Pit Clusters and the Temporality of Occupation: An Earlier Neolithic Site at Kilverstone, Thetford, Norfolk. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol 71 pp 139-157.
<S6>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.
<S7>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.

Related records

34489Related to: Early Neolithic site, Iron Age to Roman settlement and Early Saxon settlement (Monument)
25763Related to: Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age features and post medieval brick kiln, prehistoric to post-medieval finds (Monument)

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