The Selhurst Park Project: Middle Barn, Selhurstpark Farm, Eartham, West Sussex 2005–2008 [Paperback]

George Anelay (Author)

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ISBN: 9781789251166 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 152p, H297 x W210 (mm) b/w

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The Selhurst Park Project


Excavations at Middle Barn, Selhurst Park, Eartham uncovered a Middle Iron Age to early Roman farmstead, sitting upon the southern slopes of the South Downs in West Sussex, and overlooking the Sussex coastal plain. Few such excavations have been undertaken on the Downs in recent decades and even less on such a large-scale.

While the structural remains were unremarkable for a site of this type, consisting of the probable remains of three roundhouses, surrounded by a network of ditched enclosures, the recovered artefact assemblages were substantial and important. Of particular note were three large pits, cut into the chalk, and backfilled with structured deposits of pottery, animal bone, grain and fired clay. Not only do these bear testimony to notable Iron Age feasting events, but their assemblages fill significant gaps in our understanding of regional pottery traditions and agricultural practices from the Middle to the Late Iron Age. These results can now be compared with those coming from the surge in developer-funded excavations on the coastal plain below.

The resulting wealth of new evidence relating to Iron Age and Roman occupation there provides a whole new backdrop for the understanding of what was happening on the Downs to the north. It is hoped that the publication of the results from these excavations will contribute to the debate over how these two topographies interrelated, particularly in the context of expanding cross-channel trade during the later Iron Age. The excavation project at Middle Barn was carried out in 2005–2008 by volunteers under the direction of Chichester District Council’s Heritage Outreach Officer.

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
1. Introduction
The site
Historic maps
Aerial photographs
The excavations
Geophysical surveys
2. The geophysical surveys, by Neville Haskins and Andrew Payne
The 2006 survey
The 2010 survey
3. The structural sequence
The northern enclosure
The southern enclosure
The field system ditches
The sequence of development
4. Material culture
Pottery, by Jane Timby
Fired clay, by Cynthia Poole
Metalwork, by George Anelay, Mike Bishop and James Kenny
Worked stone, by George Anelay and David Bone
Flints, by James Kenny
Tile, by George Anelay
5. The environment and the agrarian economy
Animal bones, by Martyn Allen
Marine molluscs, by George Anelay
Plant remains, by Mariangela Vitolo
6. Behaviour and beliefs
Special deposits in pits
Human burials, by Martyn Allen, George Anelay and Mary Lewis
7. Overview
The Middle Iron Age settlement
The Late Iron Age settlement
The Roman settlement
Abandonment and agricultural re-use
Middle Barn and its wider environs

Reviews & Quotes

"...a welcome and useful addition to the research of Iron Age and Roman settlement and society on the Sussex Downs and adjacent Coastal Plain. It is also a testament to the high standard of work achieved by those involved with the project, which comprised both professional and volunteer archaeologists and a reminder that such collaborations can bring great benefits to the advancement of archaeological research. "
Louise Rayner
Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society (30/07/2019)

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