Photograph of ET Leeds
Archives and Artefacts
Photograph of ET Leeds beside a trench
Exploring the Past through the Work of E.T. Leeds and A2A


Neolithic and Bronze Age Oxford

There is some evidence for human activity in the vicinity of Oxford prior to the Iron Age:

  • Prehistoric material has been found at Christ Church. A sherd of Beaker pottery and flint flakes and blades have been found at Church Street.
  • Flint flakes were found at Littlegate.
  • Beaker pottery, animal bone, flint flakes and the skeleton of a young child were found in a pit to the west of the city centre.
  • Possible ard or plough marks have also been recorded in association with an early Bronze Age gold strip.
  • Three other Beaker burials are known from North Oxford.
  • Neolithic pits with flint have recently been found in the University Science area.

It seems that during the early Bronze Age, Oxford was a focus of ritual activity, since cropmarks have indicated a number of barrows and a possible cursus in the University Parks area of the city. A number of barrows have also been excavated in this area. Barrows have also been identified in the vicinity of Beaumont Street. This barrow cemetery is part of a concentration of such cemeteries along the Upper Thames Valley.

There may also have been a ford on the River Thames in the Bronze Age, if not earlier, although there is little evidence for this idea.

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