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Daventry North-East, Northamptonshire

Allen, Martyn and Harriss, Jim Daventry North-East, Northamptonshire. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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A 70 trench evaluation was undertaken on a 247ha site to the north-east of Daventry, Northamptonshire. Forty-five evaluation trenches were dug in the southern part of the site in Field 1, as this area constituted the first phase of the development application. Alongside the results of geophysical surveys in this field, the evaluation revealed evidence of a Roman rural settlement dating to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. Trial trenches exposed numerous ditches, probably relating to enclosures and other field boundaries. The most significant find was a stone-lined corndryer with well-preserved environmental remains deposited in the flue of the structure. Preliminary analysis of this material suggests that the corndryer was used to malt cereal grain, possibly for ale production. A relatively high quantity of pottery from the site suggests that domestic activity was fairly intensive, while the recovery of cattle, sheep and horse bones indicates that the settlement operated a mixed agricultural economy.
The settlement was located close to the foot of Borough Hill, an Iron Age hillfort that was refortified at its northern end. A Roman villa dating from the 2nd and 4th centuries was built within this enclosure, and a 2nd-century barrow cemetery was located to its south in the middle of the hillfort. The site also lies c 3km west of the Roman town of Bannaventa, which was established on Watling Street.
Evidence for possible late Iron Age activity was identified on the development site, just to the east of the Roman settlement. This may have been associated with a trackway (identified by geophysical survey) which led to the north-east of the site. A series of ditches were found to the west of the northern end of the trackway in Field 5; these features remain undated.
Geophysical surveys identified three possible pit alignments in different areas of the site. However, the evaluation trenches only managed to locate features associated with one of these, close to the western periphery of the site in Field 2. No dating evidence was recovered from these features.
Several post-medieval quarries were located just to the north of the Roman settlement in Field 1. Other isolated and undated ditches were identified across the site, as well as remains of medieval/post-medieval ridge and furrow and modern agricultural land drains.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Northamptonshire
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2021 10:15
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2021 10:15
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6171

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