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A Roman double-ditched enclosure at Leicester Road, Melton Mowbray Archaeological Excavation Report

Allen, Martyn and Champness, Carl A Roman double-ditched enclosure at Leicester Road, Melton Mowbray Archaeological Excavation Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Excavation by Oxford Archaeology in 2018 on the site of a proposed housing development at Leicester Road, to the west of Melton Mowbray, revealed the remains of a Romano-British double-ditched rectilinear enclosure. The enclosure was identified during previous geophysical survey and evaluation trenching of the site, which also detected the remains of a larger, possibly nucleated Iron Age settlement that lay within the development boundary about 300m to the north. Investigation of the Iron Age settlement has been undertaken independently of the excavation of the Romano-British enclosure. Pottery from the enclosure dates the period of occupation at the site to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, and it was likely abandoned around the turn of the 4th century. Initially, the distinctive plan of the enclosure gave the impression that it was unusual in a settlement context and, thus, possibly had a ritual/religious function. However, features within the enclosure were fairly limited and there was no evidence that the enclosure was a shrine. Artefacts were comparatively lacking and there was no sign of structured deposits or votive finds that might suggest a ritual site. Instead, charred plant remains indicated that cerealprocessing was a primary concern of the inhabitants, while the more-limited animal bone assemblage supported the interpretation of a small, if slightly enigmatic farmstead. There was evidence that local arable cultivation was expanding onto the less-fertile heavy clays nearby and there were also signs that hay meadows may have been managed for livestock husbandry. Overall, the site is significant in a regional context. Its plan is fairly unique if not unknown, but it importantly contributes to understanding of settlement types around Melton Mowbray and potentially within the wider hinterland surrounding the civitas capital at Leicester (Ratae Corieltavorum) during the middle Roman period.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Leicestershire
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
ID Code:5815
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:02 Sep 2020 09:06
Last Modified:02 Sep 2020 09:06

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