In 1986, field evaluation of Hartshill Copse by the Oxford Archaeological Unit indicated a Bronze Age cremation cemetery and dense settlement.
Excavations at the site by Cotswold Archaeology in 2001 and 2002 found evidence for later periods including Iron Age, Romano-British and Medieval occupation.
A later excavation found evidence of Iron working. Although Iron Age settlements had already been found on or near the site, this was different.
When the finds were dated, they were dated to around 1,000BC, at least 250 years before the Iron Age was supposed to have started.