Iron Age and Saxon site at Sawston, Cambridgeshire
AS’ Post-Excavation team have now concluded analysis of an Iron Age and Saxon site at Sawston, Cambridgeshire.
A silted-up former channel of the river Cam was identified running through the south-eastern part of the site and post-excavation work has demonstrated that the river is likely to have played an important role in the lives of the site’s inhabitants.
A concentration of pottery in a ditch dating to the approximate period of the Roman invasion of Britain suggests that some kind of trading activity may have occurred at the site. The ditch forms part of an enclosed area of river bank which may have been used for landing shallow-bottomed river boats and unloading their cargo. The large concentration of pottery may represent cargo damaged in transit. The river would have linked the site with several other important Iron Age sites in the area and may have been an important communication link.
Environmental analysis has provided important information about the former river channel and about the economies of the Iron Age and Saxon settlements.
Analysis has also provided important information about the Anglo-Saxon buildings that were present at the site. There were seven of these in total but they may not have all been standing at the same time. They are of a type typical of the period, known as grubenhäuser, which comprised a wooden superstructure built over a flat-bottomed pit. Detailed analysis of the soils filling the remains of these buildings has demonstrated that they had suspended floors constructed over the pits.
The site, which also contained evidence for Neolithic occupation, provides some important information regarding the Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon periods in southern Cambridgeshire. The results of the post-excavation analysis are due to be submitted for publication as a monograph.