In 1981 and 2001, archaeological excavations on the north bank of the River Witham revealed evidence of Iron Age timber structures thought to be
causeways. Along with the timbers was a spread of Iron Age and Roman pottery, metal work and bone. Parts of two Bronze Age log boats were also recovered in the 2001
excavation; these may have been incorporated into the structure of the causeway.
The significance of all of these finds led to a conference being held in Lincoln to
discuss possible further research and investigation of this site, along with other similar sites located in the Witham Valley.
Following this conference, the Witham
Valley Archaeological Research Committee was formed, with the aim of bringing together representatives of the different bodies involved in managing and investigating the
natural and man-made heritage of the Witham Valley between Lincoln and Boston.
A number of different investigations or surveys were proposed, including
geophysical, remote sensing, aerial photography, auguring, fieldwalking and trial excavation.
As Washingborough Archaeology Group was the most local fieldwalking
group, we were asked to assist with the co-ordination of the fieldwalking under the direction of Heritage Lincolnshire and Archaeological Project Services from
It was hoped that the fieldwalking survey would help to
- The full extent of the causeway
- Any associated settlement
- The amount of damage to the causeway structure caused by ploughing
Much of the site is to be turned into grassland, with some wetland areas being created as part of a Stewardship scheme. This meant that the opportunity to fieldwalk
the area would soon be lost.
The first phase of
fieldwalking began in April 2003 at the eastern end of Fiskerton village. Over a number of weekends a large part of the survey area, including the causeway site, had been
fieldwalked. This first phase finished towards the end of May 2003.
The second phase, to the west of Fiskerton village commenced in September 2003 and carried
on until the end of October 2003 and covered the remaining fields in the search area.
Our initial impression is that very few sherds of prehistoric pottery were
recovered, whilst there was a general spread of post-medieval pottery in the fields to the south-east of Fiskerton.
In areas where the sand breaks through the
over-lying peat, there were concentrations of worked flints and struck flint flakes. Another area, close to Fiskerton village, produced a large concentration of late-medieval
pottery and tile fragments. It is thought that this may indicate the site of a previously unknown kiln.
The fieldwalking data is currently being processed and from it
distribution plots of all of the finds will be created.
Matt Vickers, December 2003
De-briefing from Jo Hambly, Community Archaeologist
Late-medieval pottery handle