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Another key area of investigation into the duration of the settlement is the formation of the archaeology.
When we first investigated the site in 2006 we noticed that there was no gap between evidence of the settlement’s construction and its destruction.
Uncharred woodchips from the creation of the palisade sat directly underneath burnt timbers and charred debris with no gap in between. This seemed particularly strange to us as we were expecting a separation as a result of the build-up of both natural river sediments and material from the day-to-day life of the settlement.
For some time, we assumed that this immediate relationship between construction and destruction was a strange formation anomaly in the deposits of the site. However, upon further exploration of the stratigraphy across the site it now seems that we were seeing a direct representation of the brevity of the settlement’s life.
The destruction of the site seems to have occurred soon enough after the construction of the homes and the palisade that there simply was not time for other deposits to form. While it is currently not known exactly how long these layers of sediment would have taken to form within our river channel, examining the deposits on site could help us to understand this timeframe better.