We have known for some time that the larger enclosure at Sutton Common comprises (at least) two distinct phases. The earlier of the two phases is characterized by a palisade which surrounds the site, and part of the excavated palisade can be seen on this photo taken in 1999. All timbers are of oak and have a 'pencil-point' which was driven into the sands and clays. We estimate that a total of 3600 oak posts were used to form the palisade of the larger enclosure.
Another photo from 1999, showing Henry Chapman surveying the individual posts of the palisade. It has been suggested in the past that this palisade could not have been constructed for defensive reasons, but if the palisade would have included wattle, it would have provided an effective defensible structure (see, for example, the current structure at the experimental Iron Age site of Butser Farm, Hampshire).
The second phase at Sutton Common is characterised by an earthen ditch and bank which surrounded the site. Along the Hampole Beck palaeochannel, the earthen bank was strengthened by a limestone-faced rampart, which can be seen here in Trench 8.
In Trench 6, remains of the limestone-faced rampart have been cleaned. Although some limestone would have appeared in the Iron Age ploughsoil, it is possible that the material needed for Sutton Common was quarried. We will be sampling this material extensively, hoping that geochemical analysis will help us to understand the origin of this material.
In the meantime, the work on the interior is in full swing; all trenches are currently being planned by teams of diggers and students under close supervision.
Amongst the jumble of postholes found, it is possible to distinguish some structures: difficult to see on this photo (I accept), but this looks like a rectangular 6-post structure of 'granary'.
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