Author(s): P Murphy

This waterfront site on the north bank of the River Wensum, excavated by Brian Ayers for the Norfolk Archaeological Unit in the summer of 1985, revealed Middle Saxon to post-medieval deposits overlying monocot peats on river gravel. Samples were collected for on-site bulk sieving and laboratory analysis and the final excavation report will include reports on mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish bones, mollusca, coprolites, avian eggshell, mosses, pollen, plant microfossils, woodand dendrochronology. In this AML Report the writer's work on the sediments, molluscs, coprolites, plant microfossils and wood is described. The beginning of peat development will be defined by a radiocarbon date, not yet received. Peat initially formed under open reedswamp growing in shallow water butby about the 10th century conditions in the vallet floorwere much drier (a widespread phase in the East Norfolk river valleys) and features of this phase produced macrofossil assemblages of grassland plants. Subsequen-tly, in the 10th/ 11th century large-scale dumping of spoil and organic refuse began. A Dark Earth layer sealed these dumped layers, and on this wer layers of chalk. Rich plant macrofossil assemblages were retriev-ed, including a wide range of cultivated plants. Parti-cularly noteworthy are macrofossils of Beta vulgaris, Panicum miliaceum and Triticum cf. spelta from medievalcontexts. Seeds of halophytes indicate contacts with

Report Number:
AML Reports (New Series)
Animal Remains Environmental Studies Plant Remains Soil/Sediment


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