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Somerset Historic Environment Record


Site Name: Neolithic finds, Shapwick Heath, Shapwick
SCHEDULED MONUMENT: Sections of the Sweet Track, the Post Track and associated remains 500m north east of Moorgate Farm [No:27978]
  Sections of the Sweet Track and Post Track, 650m east of Canada Farm [No:27979]
Civil Parish: Shapwick
Part of:
PRN 10739Sweet Track, Shapwick Heath
Grid Ref: ST 4218 4020 (ST 44 SW) ST 4290 4178 (ST 44 SW)
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Public access:

The public accessibility of this site is unknown or has not been checked. Please ask locally and do not visit without permission. [Information last updated on 21 May 2003]


Excavations of the Sweet Track (see PRN 10739) between 1970 and 1985, particularly in the Factory site and Railway site revealed a substantial amount of debris in the form of wooden artefacts - three paddles, a dish, arrow shafts, parts of four hazel bows, a tomahawk, yew pins, digging sticks, a mattock, a comb, toggles, a spoon fragment, wedges etc. There were also numerous flint flakes, a flint core, six arrowheads (two with fragments of hazel shafts, one with glue from the shaft and one with nettle fibre binding), a chipped flint axe in mint condition (typologically late 4th millennium and possibly from mines in Sussex), an unusual jadeite axe of Swiss origin, possibly of ceremonial significance. Pieces of at least nine Neolithic pots, greyish in colour with fine smooth walls, including an almost complete carrinated bowl with wooden stirrer and one which had been holding hazelnuts when dropped. {1}

As yet little Neolithic occupation debris has been retrieved from the southern terminal of the trackway, on Shapwick Burtle, only one leaf shaped arrowhead, a flint flake and a scrap of pottery. Also a polished Neolithic stone axe has been found to the E at cST42284010, and a Neolithic flint implement at cST42574009. {2}

For other details including references see PRN 10739. {4}

The small finds at the Factory site were at the same level throughout, roughly at rail level, which provides information on the surface level of the marsh. Flint flakes were at 1.4m OD and an arrowhead was at 1.52m OD. {5}


1 Description - Coles, JM and Coles, BJ. Sweet Track to Glastonbury: The Somerset Levels in Prehistory.  (1986), 57-62.
2 Description - Morris, G. Microwear and Organic Residue Studies in Sweet Track Flints. Somerset Levels Papers.  10 (1984), 97-106
3 Description - Brown, AG. Flint and chert small finds from the Somerset Levels: Part one, the Brue valley. Somerset Levels Papers.  12 (1986), 12-27 [page 14-17]
4 Verbal communication - Dennison, E [Ed]. Somerset County Council, Sites and Monuments Record (06/01/1988). Location: Verbal, electronic or direct entry, no source retained
5 Excavation report - Coles, JM, Hibbert, FA and Orme, BJ. Prehistoric Roads and Tracks in Somerset England: 3. The Sweet Track. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society.  39 (1973), 256-293 [page 278-292]
6 Description - Coles, JM and Orme, BJ. The Sweet Track Railway Site. Somerset Levels Papers.  2 (1976), 34-65 [page 59, 63-64]
7 Description - Coles, JM and Orme, BJ. The Sweet Track: Drove Site. Somerset Levels Papers.  5 (1979), 43-64 [page 49, 52-56]
8 Description - Coles, JM and Orme, BJ. Ten Excavations along the Sweet Track. Somerset Levels Papers.  10 (1984), 5-45 [page 29, 43-45]
9 Museum accession number - TTNCM [number unknown] in Somerset County Museum.
10 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division record card. Record ID: ST 44 SW 38 (1978) Location: HER files
11 Detailed records - HBMC Field Monument Wardens report (SCC Planning Department)
12 Detailed records - Somerset Levels Project finds sheet. Record ID: 80.37 and 80.48 Location: Somerset County Museum.

Record created in January 1988

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