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Cherry Hinton War Ditches – Iron Age Hill Fort

The official report into excavations at the Iron Age fort Cherry Hinton

The War Ditches were discovered in 1893 in quarrying for chalk and were partially excavated in 1904 (Cyril Fox, 1923, The Archaeology of the Cambridge Area).

Further emergency archaeological excavations were carried out at this location in 2008. It turned out to be the site of an Iron Age hill fort.

The Oxford Archaeology report can be found here:

One particularly interesting find was a 7th century burial lying in a wooden bed with iron fittings, a strange ritual known from two other sites in Cambridgeshire and six from elsewhere in England. The burial had reused a Bronze Age barrow.

War Ditches, Cherry Hinton. First century Belgic style bowl (from C. Fox 1923)

There is some evidence of violence at the site. Excavators found a large number of skeletons, both articulated and disjointed, some bearing cut marks. These dated to the middle of the first century AD, about the time when the local people may have been confronted by the Roman army.



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