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Aston Cursus



"A cursus monument at Aston Upon Trent, orientated roughly southwest-northeast and located on the gravels of the trent valley, circa 1 kilometre northwest of the present course of the river.
The cursus appears to be a regular rectangle, the long sides parallel and circa 100 metres apart. The southwest terminal is straight, and meets both sides at right angles. The northeast terminal has not been recorded as a cropmark, but may well have lain in an area which has been quarried away. If so, the cursus would have originally been a little over 1.5 kilometres in length.
The cursus ditch was sectioned in the mid-1960s by D Reaney, though no finds were made. The recorded stratigraphy suggested an internal bank.
Further small-scale excavation occurred in 1986 at a point where the cursus ditch appeared to intersect with a ring ditch (SK 42 NW 59), towards the cursus' south western end. The cursus ditch appeared to run into and cut the ring ditch, and was therefore later in date. The slightness of the ring ditch and the nature of its fill suggests that there is unlikely to have been a mound of any substantial nature in its interior. Finds were few, and none from primary contexts. They comprised a thumb nail scraper, another worked flint, and a few sherds of pottery, identifiable as Grimston and Beaker ware.
Adjacent to the ring ditch is another, not excavated, but also contained within the cursus. In 1995, an existing field drain alongside Acre Lane (in the area circa SK 42442968) was enlarged as part of work associated with construction of the Derby Southern Bypass.
The sides of the drain were recorded archaeologically. The western cursus ditch was not present, suggesting the existence of a gap or causeway. The eastern cursus ditch, though not visible on air photographs at this point, was located. Pollen samples were collected, and a fragment of waterlogged wood is to be used for radiocarbon dating."

Info from English Heritage's
stubob Posted by stubob
29th November 2007ce
Edited 29th November 2007ce

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