By Joel Sullivan
Last week marked the end of Bristol University’s departmental excavation at Lower Hazel, near Alveston, South Gloucester. Red River Archaeology undertook the training of the students in support of Bristol University staff as part of their Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) accredited BA in Archaeology and Anthropology.
The primary aims of the ongoing excavation are to identify the phasing of the buildings present, and to identify and characterize features and associated deposits where possible. The pottery recovered on site appears to represent typologies broadly dating from the 11th - 13th centuries, and the bone assemblage tells of a highly variable utilization of species ranging from cattle to domestic fowl, which is typical of this period. Numerous bulk and OSL (Optically stimulated luminescence) samples were taken, which will aid in the identification of site economies, site formation processes, and will help clarify the dating and phasing of the site.
Similarly, toward the north-east of site (Trench 1), two ditch cuts were identified, the excavation of which exposed a previously undiscovered wall. The pottery associated with these features likewise represented earlier typologies than the frequent Ham Green pottery found across site. These features therefore represent an earlier phase (or phases) the site. The implications of this will be investigated further in the upcoming international summer school, and in future years of excavation on the site.