Weston Shore

Investigations on the Weston Shore began in 2002. This is an area which stretches from the eastern side of the mouth of the River Itchen towards Netley. Various sightings of material visible at low tide have been reported in the past, with early occupation and associated peat deposits present in the Itchen we should not be surprised to find similar along this shore. The area borders Southampton Water which has been a busy waterway for millennia, therefore not only should we find evidence of occupation on the waterside, but there may be finds from ship losses or strandings.

Fieldwalking has given us an idea of the local conditions. The intertidal muds are extensive and can be deep in places, so care is needed when crossing these deposits. Finds have included several trees which may be associated with past landscapes, and pieces of pottery, one of which may be Roman.

Of particular note is the collection of flints which have been recovered from the western end of the shore where a gravel spit protrudes out into the water from the shore. Prompted by local resident John Marlow, fieldwalking over this spit has increased the collection of worked flints considerably.

Work continued in 2004, including consulting maps and documents and further fieldwork using an auger survey. The survey concentrated on an area of a potential palaeochannel, which would have run across the shore from the Solent river when water levels were much lower than today.

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