NESCOT, Reigate Road, Ewell

Evaluation by T Black of OA. Evidence of activity of several periods was found, mostly at the north end of the site. A buried soil covering at least 40m2 was found on the west side of the site that contained a mixture of struck flints of Mesolithic and Bronze Age date. The presence of flints of two dates in the same layer suggests this may have been a colluvial layer containing material derived from further upslope. To the east, a small pit contained undiagnostic struck flints that may be of earlier prehistoric date. Two gullies in the north-west corner contained pottery sherds of Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age date, together with struck flints of broadly contemporary character. South-west of these gullies, a quarry pit over 7m across x 3.2m deep was revealed. The sides and base were irregular, but at the base of the deepest part a sherd of Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age pottery was found beneath the crouched burial of an adult male. The skeleton was partly disarticulated, but almost complete. No other finds were recovered from the fills of the feature except for a few fragments of adult human bone from a different individual from the upper fills. East of the remains of this prehistoric activity another group of quarry pits or shafts was found, and one more on the southern edge of the site. A hand-excavated slot was dug into one of the group, showing that it was at least 10m across x 2.2m deep, with a very irregular profile. The fills contained Roman finds, including the burial of several neonatal infants, and two largely complete pots, which date the infilling to between AD100 and 250. The recovery of an assemblage of animal bones mostly comprising dog, pig and horse supports the view that this was not simply used as a rubbish dump but was filled with selected material. The other quarry pits were tested only by machine, and only one was bottomed. Roman shafts are particularly characteristic of Ewell, but quarries containing such deposits are more unusual. In the late Roman period a ditch that contained domestic material was dug across the northern edge of the site. It was aligned north-west/south-east and probably followed the line of a late Roman road, known from excavations at Hatch Furlong to the north.