The Archaeology of the Wallingford Bypass, 1986-92: Late Bronze Age Ritual and Habitation on a Thames Eyot at Whitecross Farm, Wallingford

The site at Whitecross Farm, including timber structures located on the edge of the eyot, and a substantial midden and occupation deposit has been securely radiocarbon-dated to the late Bronze Age. The late Bronze Age artefact assemblages are suggestive of a high-status site, with a range of domestic and ritual activities represented. The bank of the Grim's Ditch earthwork was found to have preserved evidence of earlier settlement, dating to the Neolithic and Bronze Age, and a sequence of cultivation, including ard marks and 'cord-rig' cultivation ridges. Pottery and radiocarbon analysis dated the earthwork to the end of the late Iron Age or the early Roman period. A multi-period settlement, consisting of pits, a waterhole, postholes, gullies and field systems, was identified at Bradford's Brook, Cholsey. The main periods represented are late Bronze Age and Romano-British, while a small quantity of Saxon pottery indicates limited Saxon activity. A large pit containing late Bronze Age pottery, a cattle skull, waterlogged wood and plant remains, a complete loomweight and flint flakes has been interpreted as a waterhole. A series of radiocarbon dates were obtained for deposits within this feature. All three sites are discussed individually as well as within their local, regional and national contexts. Chapter 7 provides an overall discussion of later Bronze Age themes that have arisen through the excavation and analysis of these sites.