North Italian sgraffito dish, early 17th century
A reconstruction of the late Iron Age farmstead


Occupation of a North Kent Village from the Mesolithic to the Medieval period, PCA Monograph 3

By Barry Bishop & Mark Bagwell

PCA Monograph No.3Iwade occupies a promontory on the North Kent coastline, overlooking the Swale and the crossing point to the Isle of Sheppey. This volume tells the story of the occupants of this area over a period of some 6,000 years, as revealed by archaeological excavations conducted to the south of the village.

The story begins during the Later Mesolithic, when hunter-gatherers used a hollow created by a fallen tree to repair their microlithic toolkit. For the next 3,500 years or so the site was repeatedly visited, with people dropping occasional artefacts, but leaving us with little other evidence of their presence.

The first indications of a more 'settled' way of life appear during the Middle Bronze Age, and by the Late Bronze Age a trackway and fields have been constructed across the site, marking the beginning of explicit agricultural production. There is a hiatus in evidence for occupation at the site until a new, enclosed farmstead is established during the Late Iron Age, signalling a return at the site to agricultural production, only to be abandoned around the time of the Roman Conquest, perhaps even as a direct result of it.

Although Saxon and Viking activity is recorded in the vicinity, there is little further evidence of occupation at the site until the Medieval period when a new settlement focus formed, perhaps linked to renewed attempts to utilize the marshes.

The volume presents detailed and profusely illustrated accounts of the archaeological features, artefact types and environmental evidence. It interprets these in terms of the economies practiced, systems of social organization and the site's physical location, notably the importance of the adjacent marshland. The findings are placed within a broader geographical context, with a brief discussion of the current state of knowledge of the archaeology of north Kent.

Publication Details

Paperback: 164 pages
Publish Date: 2005
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0-9542938-2-6
ISBN-10: 0-9542938-2-7
Dimensions: 29.8 x 21 x 0.8 cm
Free online version (PDF)