Finds from Trench 1, Bone Passage - September 2004

Posted by steven on 12/09/2004 at 10:18 AM

After the recovery of a significant number of small finds from the upper contexts of Trench 1 at High Pasture Cave, diagnostic types of artefact were noticeably absent from the lower stratigraphic layers exposed.  Finds of animal and fish bone, and fragments of charcoal and fire-cracked stone continued to be found in these lower contexts below the ‘paved floor’ (some of which will be submitted for radiocarbon dating), but little material to inform us directly of the potential period of time that these layers were formed within Bone Passage.  However, towards the bottom of the trench we excavated down onto what appears to be a second occupation level, comprising an hard-packed surface of limestone breccias (stone clasts and sediment matrix).  On this surface we found a dump of fire-cracked pebbles, charcoal, burnt and unburnt bone, and to one side of this we recovered a large fragment of coarse pottery (see image below).

The fabric of the pottery includes large gritty inclusions, while the flat rim has been turned outwards slightly.  The style and fabric of the pottery is quite different to the sherds recovered from the upper contexts of Trench 1 and it is possible that it could be what is termed has ‘Bronze Age Grot Pot’, due to its coarse appearance (Cowie, pers comm).  The presence of this pottery in the trench may push back the time period for occupation at the High Pastures site by some 1000 years, although we await the specialist report on the pottery assemblage.

To one side of this pot fragment we recovered the canine tooth of a brown bear, while in the context immediately above we also found what appears to be the canine tooth of a wolf.

Next entry: 25th to 29th March: New finds from Trench 2

Previous entry: Finds of bone and antler from Trench 1, Bone Passage - September 2004


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