Team van Oord, working as Principal Contractor for the Environment Agency, commissioned Wessex Archaeology in October 2011 to conduct the archaeological investigations associated with this scheme.
Over the following 18 months, Wessex Archaeology carried out extensive geophysical survey, fieldwalking, evaluation (approximately 200 trenches), geoarchaeological assessment, detailed excavation of four separate sites, and extensive watching brief both during the main phase of groundwork and an earlier phase of focused investigation following survey for unexploded ordnance.
The investigations have uncovered a wealth of archaeological information, including late prehistoric and Romano-British settlements, and medieval and early post-medieval moated sites.
Although occupation on the peninsula spans a lengthy period, it is clear that this was always a marginal area, subject to incursions from the sea and coastal erosion. Settlements were relatively short-lived, flood deposits were apparent in the Romano-British settlements, and two of the later moated sites were abandoned in the 17th century, possibly as a result of a ‘great inundation of waters’ in 1607.
Despite this, the archaeological evidence showed that pastoral and arable agriculture took place from at least the Iron Age, and the inhabitants had access to a range of domestic and even luxury goods - three colourful Venetian or Dutch glass beads from the 16th or 17th century were found on one of the moated sites.
We are proud to announce this project was the winner of the Environment Agency Exemplar Award for Health, Safety & Environment 2013.
The publication report presents the results of the fieldwork on the Steart peninsula, including detailed finds and environmental reports. To purchase the publication follow this link.
The full archive is available from the ADS website under:
Wessex Archaeology (2019) Environment Agency Habitat Creation Scheme, Steart Peninsula, Somerset and Land Adjacent to Steart Village, Steart Point, Somerset [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1050892
The results are summarised in a popular booklet, which can be read or downloaded below.