Thames Valley Archaeological Services Occasional Paper 14
Two Roman Occupation Site near Swindon: Wanborough and Purton
by James McNicoll-Norbury, Jo Pine and Andy Taylor
The two archaeological excavations presented in this volume, at Wanborough to the southeast of Swindon, and Purton to its west, primarily focus on Roman occupation and add to a growing picture of dense rural settlement in this area throughout the Roman period. At Stanley Close, Wanborough, the full extent of settlement was not exposed but the excavated area included enclosures defined by ditches and gullies, with pits and a possible drying oven. The deposits also include a decapitation burial, perhaps that of an old soldier. All seem to date to the middle to late part of the Roman period (later 2nd to 4th centuries AD). The economic evidence suggests a typical mixed agricultural settlement with the usual domesticated animals being raised and consumed on the site, but with an unexpectedly high incidence of horse. Charred plant remains were well represented, with wheat and some barley and oats, being grown and processed on the site. A few Neolithic or Bronze Age flint flakes along with a small amount of Iron Age pottery and pits suggest some earlier activity in the area. Similarly a few sherds of Saxon and medieval pottery probably reflect use of the site as arable farmland well after the Roman site has gone out of use. At Battlewell, Purton, Roman settlement seems to have been continuous between the 1st and 4th centuries. The early phase included a post-built round house (only partially revealed); the middle Roman phase consisted of pits and a kiln or furnace; but the majority of features belonged to the later Roman occupation, including a rectangular timber building, partial remains of a stone building, a drying oven (pottery- or corn-drier) and a well containing a human burial. Economic data here were less plentiful but probably point to the same mixed subsistence base.
A4 soft cover, 22pp, illustrated throughout including 21 colour plates.
Download free digital copy