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Pimperne Down Settlement

Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork


Details of Settlement on Pastscape

An irregular univallate oval enclosure at Pimperne, partly excavated in 1960-63. Located on a gentle southeast-facing slope near the summit of a chalk ridge, the enclosure is circa 11.5 acres in extent. At the time of excavation, the northeastern sector of the enclosing bank and ditch was still extant as (plough-damaged) earthworks. The site has since been levelled by the plough and survives only as cropmarks. A second, smaller enclosure lies immediately to the south (ST 80 NE 32), and the two appear to be linked by a linear ditch. "Celtic" fields (ST 81 SE 34) extend northeast along the slope from the main enclosure, and appear to be connected with it. Excavations were small scale, but confirmed the presence of an enclosing ditch with internal bank. Evidence for revetment of the bank was poor, with the exception of the area around the eastern gateway. The eaastern entrance was marked by inturned bank terminals accompanied by parallel lines of postholes. The northern ditch terminal contained a human femur and part of a skull beneath a layer of flint nodules. The southern terminal featured an extensive midden deposit which also included some human remains. A northern entrance was suggested by geophysical survey, but is not supported by cropmark or earlier earthwork evidence. A southern entrance was confirmed by excavation. One of the ditch terminals featured deliberate backfill containing horse and ox bones, among other items. A linear ditch headed south from this entrance to the smaller enclosure ST 80 NE 32. Inside the main enclosure was a substantial roundhouse. 2 phases of construction were evident, each comprising 2 concentric circles of postholes with a southeast-facing entrance. A reconstruction was built at Butser Ancient Farm. Pottery and radiocarbon dates suggest a date circa 800-400 BC for occupation of the site. A dewpond in the enclosure contained Iron Age potsherds but is effectively undated.
Chance Posted by Chance
2nd April 2016ce

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