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Romano-British Enclosures and Crop Processing: A15 Werrington to Glinton Bypass Archaeological Excavations 1996

Kemp, S. N. (2003) Romano-British Enclosures and Crop Processing: A15 Werrington to Glinton Bypass Archaeological Excavations 1996. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Archaeological excavations were undertaken in June and July 1996 on the site of the proposed A15 Werrington to Glinton Bypass by the Archaeological Field Unit, Cambridgeshire County Council. These excavations were funded by WS Atkins Consultants on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council's Environment and Transportation Department. The 1996 excavations followed archaeological evaluation of the site in 1994 which revealed domestic and agricultural features dating to the Roman period. Excavations recovered further evidence of several phases of Romano-British settlement and exploitation at this important Fen edge location. The earliest cut feature on the site is a Romano-British enclosure dating to the 1st century AD. This enclosure is similar to other rural settlement sites recovered within the Lower Welland Valley area and provides further evidence for a pastoral exploitation of this area based on small, enclosed farmsteads. During the late 1st to late 2nd centuries the construction of a larger enclosure ditch along the same eastern boundary, indicates redefinition of the site but with the concentration of settlement activity remaining to the west of the excavated area. Within the excavated area there is no evidence of continuity from the Iron Age into these earliest Roman phases, however two Iron Age /Romano British Brooches recovered from in the fills of later contexts and possibly indicative of the curation of artefacts and the presence of Iron Age activity within close proximity. The late 2nd and early 3rd centuries of Romano-British activity saw the imposition of a complex system of land division across the site related to Roman development of the Fens at this date and to the construction of The Carr Dyke 1.8 km to the east of the Glinton site. The construction of The Carr Dyke cut off Fen edge settlements from upland resources, and the animal remains at Glinton during this phase reflects a change away from a pastoral dominated economy to an arable system. Spruce pollen recovered from this phases also indicates introduction of this tree into the Fens at this period possibly in connection with attempts to colonise the Fen edge. Following from these Fen edge developments, the main phase of Romano-British activity at the Glinton bypass dates to the 3rd century. A stone lined well was constructed within an area of structure related gullies in the central area of the excavation, whilst further construction gullies were recovered in the north west corner of the site and a large midden area occupied the northern area. This midden provided evidence for large-scale crop processing suggestive of arable production for exportation. This important evidence supports the idea of a hierarchy of specialised consumer/producer sites both within the Welland Valley area, which perhaps incorporated more distant sites such as Durobrivae and Stonea Camp. There is however no evidence for the importation of higher status goods onto the site, and the ceramic assemblage continues to be dominated by local domestic wares. Cessation of settlement across the site occurred in the late 3rd century AD although midden material continued to accumulate for a short period indicating continued secondary crop processing within the vicinity prior to the complete cessation of activity. This collapse is related to changing environmental and organisational conditions within the region at the end of the 3rd century During the medieval period the area formed part of the open fields of Glinton and this phase is represented on the site by medieval ridge and furrow running east west across the site.

Item Type:Client Report
Uncontrolled Keywords:Werrington, Glinton, A15, Cambridgeshire, Archaeological Excavation, Romano-British, Farmstead, crop processing, Iron Age, Brooch, well, fen, fen edge, by-pass, Lower Welland Valley, settlement, enclosure ditch, Roman, car dyke, land division, field system, animal remains, pastoral, arable, pollen, spruce pollen, gully, stone-lined well, midden, pottery, local domestic ware, open fields, ridge and furrow, medieval
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cambridgeshire
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD > Late Iron Age 100 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
ID Code:4120
Deposited By: Archives
Deposited On:21 Aug 2018 09:18
Last Modified:26 Oct 2018 11:46

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