Record Details

NHER Number:9544
Type of record:Monument
Name:Neolithic and Romano-British settlement sites, Eaton Heath


In 1971 this site was thoroughly excavated. Evidence for Neolithic and Romano-British settlement was recorded, with the former indicated by pit groups and 'ritual shafts' containing Beaker pottery (subsequently re-interpreted as perhaps representing natural solution holes) and the latter by rectilinear enclosures and ditch systems. Sherds of Iron Age and Roman pottery were also recovered by this process. Later visits to the site showed that these excavation shafts had been capped with concrete and that modern housing was being built here.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 209 060
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

1971. Excavation by G. J. Wainwright (Dept of Environment) of ritual shafts and settlement site.
Plain Neolithic ware and East Anglian Beaker.
Upper layers produced Roman enclosures, subrectangular ditched areas - in these some Aylesford-Swarling sherds. Handmade Iron Age sherds in subrectangular enclosure.
Definitive publication (S1) (see also (S2)).
Information from NCM cards and publication.
E. Rose (NAU).

1982. Geophysical Survey.
Magnetometer Survey on Eaton Heath.
Wide scatter of iron litter, few archaeological anomalies.
One possible shaft identified although small diameter (just 1m) makes judgement uncertain.
See report (S3) for further details.
T. Sunley (NLA) 8 November 2007.

July, 1985. Visit by J. J. Wymer (NAU).
House building in progress over site.
Top of some excavated shafts found; also other shafts capped in concrete - 19th century chalk mines? No finds in trenches not even a single flint flake. Presumably shows thoroughness of Wainright excavation.
J. J. Wymer and E. Rose (NAU) 29 July 1985.

E. B. Green (NCM) says Wainwright shafts were capped in concrete.
See (S4) for discussion of shafts. (NB see NHER 9549: similar shafts under barrow).
E. Rose (NAU).

It is possible that the so-called 'ritual shafts' were in fact natural solution features, into which cultural material had been deposited or weathered, although it is of course also possible that natural features such as these were also viewed as being of ritual significance.
D. Gurney (NLA), 7 February 2007.

Originally recorded in the parish of Eaton, now part of Norwich.

December 2009. Norfolk NMP.
NMR TG 20 NW 173 and the published excavation report (S1, p 1) record that the investigation at the site was prompted by the identification of a possible penannular cropmark visible on an aerial photograph (S5). Thought to resemble Arminghall Henge (NHER 6100), the excavation failed to identify any trace of a ditch corresponding with the mark, and it was concluded that the mark was of natural origin (S1, p4).
No features of archaeological significance were recognised on the aerial photographs consulted by the NMP survey. While crop- and vegetation marks are visible in the area of the excavations on some aerial photographs ((S6)-(S7), for example), none appears to relate to an excavated feature, and none were identified that could not be dismissed as the product of recent agricultural activity or drainage (there is some evidence of under-drainage in adjacent fields). The apparent invisibility of the excavated features on aerial photographs may reflect their shallowness, and geophysical survey proved similarly unproductive (see above). It is possible, however, that some of the undated linear ditches recorded from aerial photographs in the adjacent field to the east (NHER 53272) represent a continuation of some of the features excavated at this site.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 31 December 2009.

Monument Types

  • RITUAL SHAFT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • SETTLEMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • RITUAL SHAFT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • SETTLEMENT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • SETTLEMENT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • POT (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC? to 1501 BC?)
  • POT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: 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.
---Article in Serial: Atkin, M. 1983. The Chalk Tunnels of Norwich. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXVIII Pt III pp 313-320.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic. Easton.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Iron Age. Eaton.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Eaton.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---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. 1973. The Excavation of Prehistoric and Romano-British Settlements on Eaton Heath, Norwich. The Archaeological Journal. Vol CXXX pp 1-43.
<S2>Article in Serial: September 19. Antiquity. Antiquity. Vol XLVI, pp 231-4. pp 231-234.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: David, A. 1982. Report on Magnetometer Survey. Eaton Heath, Norwich. Ancient Monuments Laboratory. G 7/82.
<S4>Article in Monograph: Healy, F. 1986. The Excavation of Two Early Bronze Age Round Barrows on Eaton Heath, Norwich, 1969-1970. Barrow Excavations in Norfolk, 1950-82. East Anglian Archaeology. Lawson, A. J. et al.. No 29 pp 50-58. pp 57-58.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1959. CUCAP ZP85-8 04-JUL-1959.
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/772 6069-70 06-SEP-1945 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1951. RAF 58/725 (Vp2) 5009-10 21-JUN-1951 (NMR).

Related records - none

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