Prehistoric pottery from Weston Wood, Surrey
Between 1961 and 1968, rescue excavations were carried out at Weston Wood, Surrey, ahead of sand extraction. Prominent Surrey archaeologist, Joan Harding (1911-2004), directed the excavations, famously incorporating experimental archaeology into her enquiries and shedding new light onto grain storage in the Bronze Age. Findings at the site included Mesolithic and Neolithic occupation layers and the remains of a Late Bronze Age settlement, including at least two post-built structures, along with other features such as pits. A rich assemblage of finds was recovered, including a significant assemblage of prehistoric pottery, representing one of the largest from the county.
Following Joan Harding’s death in 2004, the site archive was given by her family to the Surrey Archaeological Society, who undertook a project to carry out research on the archive with financial assistance from the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF). Michael Russell (Historic England) assessed the pottery with the aim of making recommendations for future research and publication, finding that the assemblage had potential to enhance understandings of the site. Having secured additional funding from SITA UK, the Surrey Archaeological Society were able to commission the full analysis and publication of the pottery assemblage by Michael Russell, with AOC Archaeology Group managing the project.
The resulting report is published on AOC’s website and analyses the full assemblage of prehistoric pottery, contextualising it within the wider regional assemblage to draw new conclusions about prehistoric life at the site.
Image: A visit by Dame Kathleen Kenyon (left) being shown Site 2 by the excavation director, Joan Harding (right).