Thames Valley Archaeological Services Monograph: Volume 20
Archaeological Excavations at Roundhouse Farm, Marston Meysey, Wiltshire
by Simon Cass, Steve Ford, James Lewis, Andrew Taylor, Sean Wallis and Andrew Weale
This report documents a large area excavation covering some 25ha of gravel terrace in the Upper Thames Valley of north Wiltshire. The excavations have revealed a wide range of evidence for human activity with occupation sites, funerary sites, ceremonial sites and organised landscapes dating from the later Neolithic through to mid Roman times and again from the medieval period to the present.
Deposits of earlier prehistoric periods are not prolific but are represented by isolated pits, and burial but including a post-circle ceremonial monument. The later Bronze Age is better represented, with extensive areas of unenclosed settlement with post-built roundhouses and other structures present. The archaeological record intensified and diversified with the onset of the Iron Age, with several foci of occupation accompanied by small and large enclosures. The intensity and nature of landuse regressed after the middle Iron Age, due in part, perhaps, to the impact of a rising water table. The land was still demonstrably used with the reuse of several Iron Age boundaries and the creation of new fields and boundaries in Latest Iron Age/early Roman times but now without the presence of occupation areas.
Maintenance or use of the landscape appears to have ceased before the end of the Roman period though there is some evidence to suggest some originally Iron Age boundaries continued to exist to be incorporated into a small medieval agricultural enclosure. Subsequent use of the site after the medieval period was for large rectilinear enclosed fields, subject to change, with only a proportion of the boundaries recorded on early maps. The field patterns were extensively disrupted with construction of the Thames and Severn Canal in 1787.
A4 soft cover, 125pp, illustrated throughout including 40 colour plates.