In 1936 Major Allen, a British pioneer in aerial photography, detected a ditch shaped like a large ring in crops Norton. This typical brand in North Hertfordshire crops it was a ditch from the Bronze Age, as demonstrated by more photographs taken between the 60s and 70s. Three decades later the researchers, motivated by the archaeological wealth of the area, decided to look for a cemetery.
Thus, by means of magnetometry, the double-ring ditch was found, as the experts called it. In turn, in 1976 geophysicists discovered that these rings were divided into successive layers, which led researchers to think that they were facing a very old trench from the Bronze Age.
In 2006 El Community Archeology Group, which in 2010 began investigating the double ring trench. This group dug two trenches that helped find Romano-British crops and agricultural land. Likewise, they made another canal that provided deposits from the late Neolithic. But in order to get more accurate data on the site, experts dug more trenches in 2011, 2012 and 2013, which was an unexpected breakthrough.
Norton's Ditch it is extraordinary for its circular shape, instead of oval, and with a bank inside it, in front of the common ditches that have one or more accesses to the bank. This ditch is known as a formative ditch and resembles those found in Wales and the west of the country. Despite the deterioration of the banks of the ditch, among the remains found, pottery, stones from the Early and Middle Neolithic and bone remains stand out.
Materials such as chalk and clay have been found in the center, which served to prevent rainwater. Due to the large amount of chalk pebbles found at this stage, it is thought that they were accumulated on purpose. However, the exact date of this phase is unknown, but perhaps it is around the third millennium BC.
Researchers think that the trench continued to be used in successive times such as the last quarter of the third millennium thanks to the ceramic pieces and the Collared Urn. In the last phase are the skeletal remains, whose circumstances are still unknown.
The Norton Trench is in a high-value area of the Middle and Late Neolithic, which is unusual for Hertfordshire.
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