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Iron Age, Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon settlement at Crab Hill, near Wantage, Oxfordshire

Allen, Martyn and Davies, Alex and Allen, Leigh and Booth, Paul and Broderick, Lee and Cook, Sharon and Cotter, John and Donnelly, Mike and Dungworth, David and McIntyre, Lauren and Nicholson, Rebecca and Poole, Cynthia and Scott, Ian and Shaffrey, Ruth and Timby, Jane Iron Age, Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon settlement at Crab Hill, near Wantage, Oxfordshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Excavations to the north-east of Wantage, Oxfordshire, uncovered a long-lived Iron Age and Roman settlement alongside more ephemeral evidence for earlier prehistoric and Anglo-Saxon activity. The earliest archaeological remains comprised a small number of residual early prehistoric worked flints. A small assemblage of largely residual late Bronze Age pottery suggests the presence of settlement activity nearby. The first clear evidence of settlement remains dated to the earliest Iron Age. The settlement appears to have been established in the 8th or 7th century BC, represented by a large post-built roundhouse containing All Cannings Cross pottery. A further five post-built roundhouses and six roundhouses defined by penannular ditches dated to the earliest or early Iron Age. A further post-built roundhouse was not dated, but probably stood during this phase. Also dated to the earliest/early Iron Age were two adjacent linear pit groups, a four-post structure, and nine pits including one that contained an infant and the disarticulated bones of one or more juveniles. A total of 15 roundhouses defined by penannular ditches dated to the middle Iron Age, alongside 12 pits, a fourpost structure and several linear features. Another four-post structure, a possible six-post structure, 19 pits and other minor features were broadly dated as ‘Iron Age’ (pertaining to either the early or middle Iron Age). Late Iron Age activity was represented by a substantial circular enclosure that may have surrounded a building. The site was significantly reorganised early in the Roman period. Two rectilinear enclosures and minor subsidiary enclosures were established, with a ditch cutting and possibly purposefully slighting the late Iron Age circular enclosure. The Roman enclosures were recut multiple times throughout the following centuries and the organisation of the site remained remarkably consistent until it was abandoned at the end of the 4th century AD. A middle Roman corndryer and two late Roman corndryers were discovered, along with two late Roman wells. A fragment of a quern made from raw material quarried in the Channel Islands or northern France was also discovered. One early Saxon sunken-featured building was discovered, probably dating to the 6th or 7th century. This phase of occupation is not likely to have immediately followed on from the Roman settlement. The later medieval period saw the site come under arable cultivation, signified by the presence of numerous furrows. The land may have been farmed from medieval Wantage and a trackway of late 15th–16th-century date was found to extend southwards towards the town.

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Period > UK Periods > Early Medieval 410 - 1066 AD
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
ID Code:5879
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:23 Nov 2020 10:01
Last Modified:23 Nov 2020 10:01

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