Whitehill Road Barrow, Longfield and New Barn, Kent - Integrated Site Report
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The Museum of London Archaeology Service (MoLAS) was commissioned by Union Railways (South) Limited (a subsidiary of London and Continental Railways) to undertake a watching brief and detailed excavation between Fawkham Junction to Dale Road (Archaeological Zone 1) and from Dale Road to west of Hazells Farm (Archaeological Zone 2), southwest and south of Gravesend, Kent. This work formed part of an extensive programme of archaeological investigation carried out in response to the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL). Earliest dated activity within the area may have taken place as early as c 4,000 BC with exploitation of spring lines at the valley floor east of Springhead. A barrow monument was set up to the west, at Whitehill Road: the original ditch around the barrow had partially filled in before the insertion of an inhumation burial. An amber necklace found with the body, while unusual in the Kent early Bronze Age tradition dates to latter part of the early Bronze Age. Human bone fragments from the burial gave a radiocarbon result of 3273+/-30BP (NZA-22740). When calibrated (1620-1440 cal BC) this indicates that the burial is post-Beaker. The construction of a second, outer concentric ditch around the barrow was also a secondary event, probably contemporary with the burial. At Springhead, later Bronze Age colluvium sealed earlier features and was cut into by late Bronze Age pits and ditches. Apart from small amounts of late Iron Age material, there was no evidence for further activity until the 1st century AD when Roman field systems are laid out at Fawkham Junction and New Barn Road, and an enclosure constructed at South of Station Road. The Roman land use and activity was apparently short-lived and passed into disuse AD 100-150. Later medieval and post-medieval activity within the landscape remained agricultural in character until the construction of the Gravesend West Railway in the mid 19th Century.