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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 [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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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
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2020 10:01
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2020 10:01
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/5879

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