line. Great care was taken not to delay gravel extraction or pit landscaping with excellent co-operation from the Hoveringham Gravel Co and their digger driver Sam Marriott. Unstratified objects were rescued at the grading plant, and the quarry face was enthusiastically monitored by the drag line driver who, luckily, is one of my patients. *
129 artefacts were collected including 2 neolithic stone axes, a Bronze Age spear, a Roman bronze cauldron, together with Iron Age, Roman, Medieval and Post Medieval pottery. Of more recent date is a 30 cwt lead ingot from Derbyshire bearing its 16th century maker's, owners' and founders' marks, which must have descended with great rapidity to the bed of the river, perhaps following a shipwreck.
Many of the objects had been redeposited as the river had shifted its course, and there was nothing earlier than the 17th century in its original position. Indeed it was not uncommon to find Medieval and prehistoric pottery sherds close together. Nevertheless from a variety of indications it was possible to work out the course of the river in prehistoric, Roman and Medieval periods.
The main help in working out the position of the prehistoric period were the great oak tree trunks uncovered deep in the gravel. Since 1974, 133 trunks have been surveyed, photographed and drawn and over 100 discs have been cut by chain saw.
The trunks showed no evidence of axe or saw and were probably forest trees uprooted in floods. Simple methods of counting and statistical analysis of tree rings were attempted by myself until this aspect was taken over by Pam Whitley and Cliff Litton of the Nottingham University Tree Ring Research Group. This was formed in 1976 by members of the archaeology, botany and mathematics departments in response to the accumulation of samples from Colwick. This group is now attempting to establish a master dendrochronological curve for the East Midlands using oak from vernacular *Dr Salisbury is a G.P., in partnership with his wife, Maxine.
An uprooted neolithic tree trunk still lying in situ on the lowest levels of the flood plain gravel. Like almost all the trunks, its roots point upstream. John Fox, who helped throughout the project, is standing on the far end.
Photo: Chris Salisbury.
Below: The course of the neolithic, Romano-British and medieval rivers superimposed on the modern course. This plan is based on air photos taken in February 1946, at a time of maximum flooding, which revealed the scroll bars of the former channels. The medieval rig-and-furrow is also shown: note that at the bottom right it overlies the position of the Iron Age log boats marked by a star.
buildings and the river. At Colwick 74 trunks have been measured and 40 have been correlated into 2 floating chronological curves which have been approximately dated by 3 radio-carbon dates. The first, of 27