Aspects of later prehistoric settlement in Lincolnshire : a study of the Western Fen margin and Bain Valley
The objective of this research was to examine the development of settlement in Lincolnshire during the 4th-1st millennia B.C. by a detailed investigation of two contrasting areas, the western fen margin and the Bain Valley. To understand how the fen margin settlements evolved it was necessary to study the development of the ancient landscape. This was achieved by a combination of fieldwalking, examination of aerial photographs and by recording fenland drainage sections. By studying the soils and their depositional history it was possible to relate drying out and flooding episodes to the traditional fenland sequences. The excavation of a Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement at Billingborough was described in detail and compared with similar remains from other sites. The Bain Valley was studied by a combination of survey and excavation. An area between Ludford and Tattershall was investigated by fieldwalking transects across the valley and onto the Wolds. A detailed survey of two flint scatters was undertaken. The results of two major excavations at Tattershall Thorpe were presented. One was a Neolithic settlement with associated ceramics and lithic industry the other an Iron Age defended enclosure with waterlogged ditch deposits. The two study areas were then compared, contrasted and discussed in a broader context. Results of the research suggest that a mixed agricultural economy developed on the western fen margin in the Bronze Age and a predominantly pastoral economy in the Bain Valley and on the Wolds. Early in the 1st millennium, in a period of increasing wetness and flooding, settlement patterns changed with the Witham Valley becoming the focus of attention a role it continued to play in the Iron Age. A shift towards semi-urban settlement takes place in the 1st century B.C. with the formation of major Iron Age centres. Extensive land divisions also appear at this time and it is suggested that these may relate to the territories of these centres.