NESCOT former animal husbandry land, new care home site, Reigate Road, Ewell (pt 1)

Excavation by A Haslam of PCA of 1m2 test pits across a colluvial deposit that covered the site, and previously identified during a programme of evaluation (SyAC 99, 218), produced c 7000 pieces of Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age struck flint. The bulk of the assemblage dated from the later Bronze Age to the Iron Age and may derive from middening practices spanning those periods. Although redeposited, the flint assemblage clearly represents all stages in the reduction process, from the preparation of raw materials through to the manufacture, use and discard of tools. The high proportion of microdebitage recovered from some of the test pit samples suggests the on-site working of flint. Only two other finds were recovered from the colluvial deposit, both post-medieval. From the combination of the test pit results and those from a programme of fieldwalking, the total number of struck flint and debitage present was estimated to be in the millions. Following the test pitting, the site was fully stripped to reveal the presence of a Late Bronze Age or possibly Early Iron Age field system with an associated fence line, two concentric droveways and a number of dispersed pits. Roman activity was also recorded in the form of several pits, a large flint and chalk quarry of possible late 2nd or early 3rd century date, and a 2nd century ditch, at the terminus of which two inhumations were discovered, one partially overlying the other. The upper burial was prone and the lower crouched. The presence of jewellery in the form of two copper bracelets and two beads within the upper burial, suggests it was that of a female. To the immediate south of these burials a further crouched adult inhumation of Roman date was revealed within a grave, cut into the backfilled terminus of a Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age field boundary ditch. The ditch was on the same alignment as the 2nd century ditch (above) suggesting the two were, for a time, contemporary within the landscape. Further human remains in the form of an articulated hand were recorded to the east and it is possible that this burial was also originally placed within a now-truncated ditch, the alignment of which indicated that it formed part of the earlier field