Brent Knoll, Somerset

In October 2004 Bristol and Region Archaeological Services carried out an archaeological evaluation at Sanders Garden World, to the south-east of Brent Knoll in Somerset. This prominent hill overlooks a wide flat plain, previous archaeological work has recorded the remains of an Iron Age settlement and possibly a Romano-British temple on its summit. To the north of Brent Knoll aceramic post-roman settlement activity has also been identified.

Five trenches were excavated at the garden centre revealing a sequence of alluvial clay deposits over 2m in depth. In one of the trenches at a depth of 1.5m below the surface a thin black, charcoal-rich layer was recorded. No evidence for anthropogenic activity was present in the clay immediately above or below this layer. In all of the trenches, approximately 1m below the surface, a buried soil horizon was present containing abraded sherds of Romano-British pottery and fragments of animal bone. This is positive evidence of land reclamation around the ‘Island’ of Brent Knoll during this period. The lack of discrete archaeological features within this buried soil layer indicates that the area would probably have been used for pasture or grazing. It was apparent that following the roman period the land had reverted to a flood plain.

trench section showing alluvial deposits, brent knoll, somerset

Trench section showing alluvial deposits (lighter grey) above the Romano-British layers, looking north with Brent Knoll in the background.

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