Broadcast 25 January 2004

Videotext Communications was commissioned by Channel 4 to carry out an archaeological evaluation as part of the Time Team television series on land belonging to South Cliff Farm, South Carlton, Lincolnshire (centred on National Grid Reference SK 956 771).

The archaeological evaluation was designed to investigate the extent and date of an Early-Mid Saxon cemetery, found by a metal detector, and the site of a deserted medieval village at Middle Carlton. The project was undertaken using surface collection at Middle Carlton and the cemetery field with geophysical survey and twelve machinedug trial trenches. The work was undertaken over three days in September 2003.

The surface collection produced pottery that reflected the land use of the area since the prehistoric period. Late Saxon and Early medieval pottery related to the village of Middle Carlton predominated in the area between the two modern villages of North and South Carlton. Roman and post-medieval sherds from arable agriculture were prevalent in the cemetery field.

The geophysical survey produced evidence of both prehistoric and Romano-British activity. It detected a previously unrecorded ring ditch, probably an Early Bronze Age barrow, which was sectioned and dated by a sherd of Collared Urn pottery. A severely truncated cremation burial was located in the interior of the monument. A Roman enclosure system, probably related to a field system was also traced and sampled in the north-west of the cemetery field.

Excavation of the Anglo-Saxon cemetery produced an urned cremation burial and three inhumation burials. The inhumation burials lay in shallow graves and were aligned east to west. They included a female, a possible male and a male and contained a range of grave goods including personal jewellery and a shield boss. One of the inhumations truncated a shallow pit containing cremated animal bone, while another inhumation lay close to the line of a post-medieval road, which may have followed the line of a much earlier boundary and defined the limit of the cemetery. A number of machine-excavated trenches, dug to define the limits of the cemetery, failed to locate additional graves.

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