Visit to Gueswick Hill with Altogether Archaeology
On Friday 25th August nine members of SWAAG visited Altogether Archaeology’s current dig at Gueswick Hill on the outskirts of Cotherstone, Country Durham.
Seven members of the group partook in lunch at the Fox & Hounds prior to the visit to the dig.
Tony Metcalfe from AA gave the group a comprehensive tour of the site, a large flat topped hill with agricultural terraces on the east side. The site was occupied from early Iron Age to the end of the Roman occupation – dating was obtained from Charcoal and other datable finds. There is the potential for a Bronze Age settlement as charcoal was found in the bottom of the ditch excavated on the north side of the settlement in 2022.
The terraces date from the early Iron Age, DNA analysis from test pits show cattle, sheep and pigs have been grazed at various times on these terraces. Moving on to the top of the hill on the east side Tony explained the areas excavated in 2021 and indicated where the palisade ditch ran around the south / east side of the hill.
Moving across to the north / west side of the hill and the area currently being excavated. T4 the main trench which should contain the hut circle. To date the hut circle had not been exposed. Paved floors and cobbled areas were visible and a hearth tested using a magnetic technique indicated that it had been used for domestic purposes (600C). Area showed 4 quern stones had been set into the cobbled and paved areas.
T5 and T6 were also visited – T5 an enclosure ditch and T6 showing an area of ridge and furrow.
Tony then showed some of the major finds from the site and models made by one of the members showing how the settlement would have looked in the Iron Age period.
Area of potential Round House. Paved area at far end of trench contains the hearth