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Iron Age Settlements and Roman Roads: archaeological fieldwork along the Angelinos trunk water main in north Oxfordshire

Owain Scholma-Mason, Michael Tierney, Hayley Goacher and Matt Edgeworth
with contributions by Jane Timby, Veronica Anicetti, Mauro Rizzetto, Sue McGalliard, Richard Macphail, Julie Lochrie, David Henderson, Angela Walker and Holly B. Duncan
Illustrations by Beata Wieczorek-Oleksy

Cite this as: Scholma-Mason, O., Tierney, M., Goacher, H. and Edgeworth, M. et al. 2021 Iron Age Settlements and Roman Roads: archaeological fieldwork along the Angelinos trunk water main in north Oxfordshire, Internet Archaeology 56.


Profile of feature under excavation
Akeman Street Roman road under excavation

Excavations along an 18.5km stretch of the Angelinos trunk water main in north Oxfordshire between Tackley and Milton uncovered a panoply of prehistoric to post-medieval remains. Residual sherds of Beaker pottery suggest Chalcolithic/early Bronze Age activity within the vicinity of the development, but most of the excavated features were middle Iron Age in date, comprising linear boundaries and probable enclosures. At least three areas of domestic occupation were recorded, ranging from a single structure to multiple pits associated with various linear features. A double burial, comprising an adult male and a child, dating to the middle Iron Age was also recorded. Roman remains were largely limited to a section dug through Akeman Street, which formed a key arterial route during the Roman period. Other Roman evidence includes a possible midden or manure spread, suggestive of nearby agricultural activity. Medieval and post-medieval features ranged from plough marks to probable quarry pits.

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  • Keywords: archaeology, Iron Age, Roman, Akeman Street, inhumation burials, enclosures, trackways, structured deposit
  • Accepted: 24 May 2021. Published: 23 August 2021
  • Funding: The publication of this article was funded by Eight2O (Thames Water alliance with SMB, a Joint Venture between Skanska, MWH and Balfour Beatty)
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Corresponding author: Owain Scholma-Mason
Headland Archaeology

Full text

Figure 1: Site location

Figure 2: The site in its wider context

Figure 3: Calibrated radiocarbon dates

Figure 4: Plan of archaeological features in Area 1

Figure 5: Plan of archaeological features in Area 1/13

Figure 6: Section through Roman road [13015]

Figure 7: Plan of archaeological features in Area 2

Figure 8: East-facing shot of pits [02045], [02051] and [02072]

Figure 9: North-east facing shot of SK2108

Figure 10: Plan of archaeological features in Area 3

Figure 11: Plan of archaeological features in Area 4

Figure 12: Plan of archaeological features in Area 5

Figure 13: Plan of archaeological features in Area 7

Figure 14: Plan of archaeological features in Area 9

Figure 15: Plan of archaeological features in Area 10

Figure 16: Plan of archaeological features in Area 11

Figure 17: Plan of archaeological features in Area 12

Figure 18: Iron Age pottery from the pipeline

Figure 19: Glass bead from burial [02084]

Table 1: Summary of excavated areas

Table 2: Summary of main phases by area

Table 3: Summary of radiocarbon dates

Table 4: Summary of dated pottery recovered by area (no. sherds)

Table 5: Quantification of Iron Age pottery from across the pipeline

Table 6: Quantification of Roman pottery from across the pipeline

Table 7: Number of identified animal specimens (NISP) from hand-collected and sieved faunal material by period

Table 8: Location and summary of micromorphology samples

Table 9: Summary of principal features and possible site functions

Table 10: Examples of Iron Age settlement sites near to the development

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