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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 127   2007 page 43

Excavations at Ringlemere Farm, Woodnesborough, 2002-2006. 
   By Keith Parfitt and Stuart Needham


Fig. 3 Reconstruction drawing of the Ringlemere gold cup.

Geology and Topography of the Site

The Ringlemere site lies at the foot of the North Downs dip slope, towards the bottom of a long north-east facing slope, which constitutes the southern side of the broad, shallow valley of the Durlock Stream (Figs 1 and 2). The underlying geology here is head brickearth, with some gravel, overlying Thanet Beds clay. Today, the Durlock Stream begins at a spring which rises in the immediate environs of the site and flows for about 8km westwards to join the Wingham River, which in turn empties into the Little Stour near Ickham (Fig. 1). A ridge of Eocene sands separates the Durlock valley from the south-western edge of the former Wantsum Channel, which once divided the Isle of Thanet from the Kentish mainland and was a much used water-way in ancient times (Fig. 1).
   Ringlemere lies just over 4 km from the Wantsum shore, which seems significant in terms of the Continental connections of Early Bronze Age items from the site the gold cup and also two pieces of worked amber. The Wingham River may once have formed a broad inlet opening off the main Wantsum Channel and its lower reaches might have been usable by ancient vessels with shallow draught, perhaps similar to the Bronze Age boat found at Dover, just 16km to the south of Ringlemere (Clark 2004; Fig. 1, inset).

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