Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Occasional Paper: Excavations Along the M25. Prehistoric, Roman and Anglo-Saxon Activity between Aveley and Epping, Essex

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History is pleased to announce the publication of its new Occasional Paper, written by Edward Biddulph and Kate Brady, with contributions from several others.  Currently available only to members, who should have received copy by now, it will go on sale to the public, price £12.50 including P&P to UK address, after Easter. (Membership, including all the year's publications starts from £20.)

Archaeological fieldwork by Oxford Archaeology at some 29 sites along the route of a widening scheme between junctions 27 and 30 of the M25 motorway in Essex uncovered evidence of past occupation and activities dating from the Mesolithic to post-medieval periods.

Late Iron Age cremation burials, Roman-period enclosures and field boundaries, and a tentatively identified Anglo-Saxon sunken-featured building were discovered at Hobbs Hole at Junction 29 of the M25. At Passingford Bridge, Stapleford Tawney, a middle Bronze Age ring-ditch, possibly a barrow, was recorded in the floodplain of the River Roding. Evidence was found of a middle Iron Age to Roman farming settlement of roundhouses, enclosures and raised granaries, established on the higher ground of the gravel terrace. An alignment of irregular pits dated by pottery to the early-middle Iron Age was uncovered near Upminster, and early Saxon charcoal-filled pits — evidence, possibly, of charcoal-burning — were recorded at Codham Hall near Great Warley.

The limited opportunity for archaeological excavation during the original construction of the motorway meant that little had been known of the archaeology beneath. The results presented in this volume have significantly altered that view, revealing a picture of an evolving cultural landscape between Aveley and Epping from prehistoric to modern times. 

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