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Winchester area has no firm dating yet been published in that period.

Around the North Sea and in the same band of latitude, the oaks, mainly of slow and uniform growth, selected from the boards which form the panels of paintings of the 15th to 17th centuries have provided dendrochronology with a highly successful application. Of the 500 panels used in the Netherlands or England and subjected to tree-ring analysis, about 80% have been dated by Bauch and Eckstein at Hamburg or by ourselves at Oxford. From that and other work two different types of oak chronologies have been recognised for the zone from the English Midlands to the hills around the Lower Rhine. Neither is confined to one area as the factors responsible for the two patterns seem to be differences in hill slope, drainage, pH and oak species.

The concept of regional chronologies (sometimes naively discussed in terms of national boundaries) must now be replaced for the oak of temperate and hilly north-west Europe by the recognition of interspersed ecological zones. Few have yet appreciated the significance of this fact and its relevance to the progress of dendrochronology.

Although samples from fast grown trees are unsuitable due to an inadequate number of annual rings, dendrochronology has proved successful for oak in this part of Europe. The dates obtained are accurate to less than ten years if sapwood is present and can usually be estimated to a quarter-century bracket when sapwood is absent. In Britain, reference chronologies for early medieval and Roman samples are at present weakly substantiated and may well remain so for some time. John Fletcher, Research Laboratory for Archaeology, 6 Keble Road, Oxford.

Great Linford post-mill, 1977. View of the cross-trench after excavation, showing limestone packing and remains of timbers in situ.

Post Mills and Archaeology by R. J. Zeepvat

THE largest excavation project so far undertaken by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation Archaeology Unit has centred on the village of Great Linford, which occupies the north-east corner of the new city. This has involved the examination of medieval earthworks around the modern village in advance of housing development, linked with a programme of documentary research. Between 1974 and 1977 over thirty structures were found, representing eleven crofts, spanning the period from the twelfth to the seventeenth century.

During the 1977 season at Linford, an isolated earthwork, standing on high ground some 400 metres east of the village, was included in the excavation programme, the site then being scheduled for landscaping as a sports field. This earthwork consisted of a 'C shaped ditch about 30 metres in diameter, encompassing a mound which stood a little higher than the surrounding fields, and situated adjacent to the medieval track from Great Linford to Newport Pagnell, which is now a public footpath. The site location was also marked on an estate map of Great Linford parish, dated 1641, which is now part of the Bucks Archaeological Society Collection in the County Museum at Aylesbury. The site is clearly shown on the map as 'Windmill Hill', although no mill is shown on it.

Removal of topsoil from the


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