An abundance of stake holes: Trench 9 at the Bradford Kaims

We have made excellent progress here in trench 9 in the past few weeks. In the south area of the trench, beneath the layer that contained bronze age pottery, we began to find some preserved wood. It looks similar to some of the wood that’s come up through the peat over the last few years in the surrounding landscape. It will need further investigation as we are not sure if it is an archaeological artifact or natural to the landscape.


We have been identifying the edge of the burnt mound and have put in a section to help us determine our sampling strategy. We placed the section in the center of the burnt mound where it should be the deepest but it is rather shallow. From our section we can see that the soil beneath the mound contains no burnt stones.


Student Chris working in T9. Observe the lack of stones in the deepest part of the section.

At the top of that section underneath the burnt mound we have discovered more stake holes that seem to be following a linear alignment. In the north section of the trench we have found more preserved wood in the peat layer. Very close to the preserved wood we have found more stake holes that are circular in layout.


Ben working on uncovering more of the preserved wood. The circularly arranged stake holes are in the background.

At this time we have a total of six clusters of stake holes. One thought as to their function, given their place in the landscape, is that they were used for staking down fish traps if the water was particularly high. However, we are reserving any solid analysis until we know how many stakes holes we’ve got and what shape their in. At this point we are going to excavate and record them and get them on plan to see how they relate to everything else.


One of the stake holes up close.

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