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Name:Late Bronze Age to early Iron Age Salt Making Site, Billingborough
HER Number:32862
Type of record:Monument

Summary

Excavation revealed a late Bronze Age to early Iron Age salt making site in Billingborough parish.

Grid Reference:TF 127 332
Map Sheet:TF13SW
Parish:BILLINGBOROUGH, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE

Full description

A large elliptical mound, 1 acre in area, was excavated in 1975 in advance of earth-moving, and produced evidence of four hearths associated with late Bronze Age and early Iron Age pottery and briquetage. This is a salt-making site, with cropmarks showing on 1976 aerial photographs of the area. {1}{2}

Excavations on a site in Billingborough parish revealed that late Bronze Age and early Iron Age salt-making had taken place. The salt-making phase of activity was preceded by a middle to late Bronze Age settlement that had been abandoned, probably because of marine flooding (see PRN 33304). The salt-making site was succeeded, after a gap of about a century, by a new settlement during the middle to late Iron Age (see PRN 32860). The later Iron Age settlement was also abandoned and in the early Romano-British period a new field system was laid out in this area (see PRN 35515).
This site is one of the earliest salt-making sites known in the country with a radiocarbon date of 840-390 cal BC. A number of features associated with salt-making were identified. There were four pits containing ashy deposits and briquetage fragments as well as several hearths. These were some gullies which may have been surviving evidence from structures, perhaps temporary shelters or windbreaks. One of the pits appeared, during excavation, to contain an in situ clay structure which disintegrated on excavation. Several scatters of salt-making debris were found across the site. The pottery that was found was not distinctive in form or fabric and was present in only small amounts. It is of a style that dates it probably to the late Bronze Age to early Iron Age. The analysis of the small amount of animal bone (cow, sheep/goat and pig) showed that most of the animals present were exploited for their meat. The development of salt marsh to the east of the site at this period would have provided ideal grazing for sheep, in particular, and meat may have been salted and perhaps traded with settlements in the region. {3}{4}


<1> SMR, Sites and Monuments Record Card Index, TF 13 SW: Z (Index). SLI2881.


<2> White, A.J., 1976, 'Archaeology in Lincolnshire and South Humberside, 1975' in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, vol.11, p.57 (Article in serial). SLI757.


<3> Peter Chowne, Rosamund Cheal and A.P. Fitzpatrick, 2001, Excavations at Billingborough, Lincolnshire, 1975-78: a Bronze-Iron Age settlement and saltern site, pp.14-16, 40-2, 81, 92-3 (Bibliographic reference). SLI7301.


<4> South Lincolnshire Archaeological Unit, 1996, Excavations at Billingborough 1975-78, LCNCC 173.1996 (Excavation archive). SLI7302.

Monument Types

  • ARTEFACT SCATTER (Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age - 900 BC to 500 BC)
  • GULLY (Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age - 900 BC to 500 BC)
  • HEARTH (Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age - 900 BC to 500 BC)
  • PIT (Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age - 900 BC to 500 BC)
  • SALT WORKS (Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age - 900 BC to 500 BC)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age - 900 BC to 500 BC)
  • BRIQUETAGE (Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age - 900 BC to 500 BC)
  • SHERD (Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age - 900 BC to 500 BC)

Associated Events

  • Excavation at Billingborough

Sources and further reading

<1>Index: SMR. Sites and Monuments Record Card Index. TF 13 SW: Z.
<2>Article in serial: White, A.J.. 1976. 'Archaeology in Lincolnshire and South Humberside, 1975' in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. vol.11, p.57.
<3>Bibliographic reference: Peter Chowne, Rosamund Cheal and A.P. Fitzpatrick. 2001. Excavations at Billingborough, Lincolnshire, 1975-78: a Bronze-Iron Age settlement and saltern site. pp.14-16, 40-2, 81, 92-3.
<4>Excavation archive: South Lincolnshire Archaeological Unit. 1996. Excavations at Billingborough 1975-78. LCNCC 173.1996.

Related records

32860Related to: Middle to late Iron Age settlement in Billingborough parish. (Monument)
39226Related to: Sinuous cropmark complex running east to west in Billingborough parish (Monument)