Stone Age to Corinium – recent excavations at Bourton-on-the-Water

Representation of Salmonsbury Hill Fort

The Society’s new Chairman, Bob Montgomery, introduced our first speaker of the 2017 season, namely Dr. Alison Brookes from the Corinium Museum.  Dr. Brookes explained that, as a result of their own fund raising efforts and a large grant from the Heritage Lottery, the Museum was embarking on significant redevelopment and the creation of new galleries, which would enable them to cover the results of recent excavations and research at Salmonsbury Camp, the primary school, Cotswold School and Bourton Business Park. This work had been most rewarding and, at times, surprising.

Slides of maps and sites illustrated the speaker’s observations and we saw evidence of 4th century and 3rd century BC concentric circles and enclosures, pits for grain storage (later used to deposit all sorts of items), and a  tightly flexed adolescent female burial and a gold annular bead.  There was evidence of salt trade  with Droitwich, food storage pits becoming burial sites and the working of shale material from Dorset.  To the east of the schools an important meeting place had been revealed as well as pit burials from 7th century to 1st century BC and roundhouses.

Recent finds at Bourton Business Park had been from the Bronze Age with some of the earliest pottery yet found in the County and evidence of stone polishing.  Sword moulds from 1180 to 1140 BC were thought to be the only examples of their type in the UK.  The large audience much appreciated Dr. Brookes’s clarity, enthusiasm and breadth of knowledge.

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