Early Bronze Age

Little evidence for activity in the Early Bronze Age (2400-1600 BC) was recovered during the excavations at Kingsmead Quarry, but for a few significant features.

847 Bronze Age barrow
Two significant monuments were excavated on the site. A large continuous circular barrow and a large ring ditch, would have dominated an otherwise open and unenclosed landscape. Both ring ditches contained small quantities of Collared Urn and Beaker pottery, animal bone and worked flint. One monument was reused in the Romano-British period, when 55 shallow pits were dug immediately within the ring ditch. Residual Romano-British pottery was also recovered from the upper fills of the ditch. It is unclear why the shallow pits were cut immediately within the monument, and why it continued to hold such importance, although it is not unusual for prehistoric earthworks to be reused in later periods.
 
848 Bronze Age ring ditch
Both monuments were the focus of funerary and votive activity, with one being associated with a later Middle Bronze Age cemetery consisting of a large number of both urned and unurned cremation burials. Eight inhumation burials were also associated and appear to have been contemporary. A large circular post-built structure was also located nearby. In the more northern ring ditch deposits of animal bone including skulls were placed in the ditch.  
 

830 Surveying in a large pit

An unusual feature of Early/Middle Bronze Age (1800-1500BC) was found within one of the farmsteads. A large pit of earlier date, perhaps Neolithic, was truncated by the insertion of an oven. Associated with this was a remarkable collection of flints and tools deposited directly onto the base of the oven. These included eight arrowheads of flint, a whetstone used for sharpening tools and an awl or punch made of bronze. This 'tool kit' may have been deliberately placed in the ground as a votive offering.

 
The distinctively shaped barbed and tanged arrowheads date to the Early Bronze Age, whilst the awl or punch is of Early/Middle Bronze Age. The arrowheads are thought to come from a number of different sources, and some of them can be grouped into pairs by their shape and size. Amber beads were also recovered from this pit along with evidence for bronze working.  The combination of old and new material, objects that had be assembled and carefully arranged all suggest a ritual or votive deposit. One possibility is that this served as a foundation deposit for the creation of the farmstead – a symbolic burying of an old way of life. 
828 Early Bronze Age barbed and tanged arrowheads