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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

Occasional Paper 14 cover

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.

ISBN 978-1-911228-09-7

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Price: £5.00

Occasional Papers

Newest Papers: Our latest additions to the TVAS Occasional Paper series

Occasional Paper 1: Medieval Occupation at RAF Quedgeley, Gloucestershire

Occasional Paper 2: Medieval Boundaries and an Early Post-Medieval Manor House at Beeches Manor, Reading Road, Wokingham, Berkshire

Occasional Paper 3: Middle Bronze Age and Middle Iron Age Occupation and Post-Medieval Limekilns at RAF Staff College, Broad Lane, Bracknell, Berkshire

Occasional Paper 4: Medieval Occupation in Marston, Oxford

Occasional Paper 5: Bronze Age and Middle Iron Age Occupation and Roman Fields at Lidsey Landfill, Woodgate, West Sussex

Occasional Paper 6: Medieval Haddenham, Buckinghamshire: Excavations at Townsend and Fort End, 2011 and 2013

Occasional Paper 7: Medieval Settlement at Oak Farm, Milcombe, Banbury, Oxfordshire: Excavation in 2012

Occasional Paper 8: Roman and Medieval Occupation at The Former Worcester City Football Club, St George's Lane, Worcester

Occasional Paper 9: Middle/Later Bronze Age Occupation at Manor Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex

Occasional Paper 10: Excavation of Medieval Occupation at Ropetackle, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex

Occasional Paper 11: Medieval and Post-Medieval Occupation at 47 Endless Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Occasional Paper 12: A Middle Bronze Age Pit Circle and Field System, and Roman Settlement at Hitches Lane, Fleet, Hampshire

Occasional Paper 13: The Archaeology of four Pipelines in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire

Occasional Paper 14: Two Roman Occupation Site near Swindon: Wanborough and Purton