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Late Iron Age and early Romano-British settlement, Langton by Wragby



Reference Name MLI89728

Name:
Late Iron Age and early Romano-British settlement, Langton by Wragby

Summary:
Excavation revealed a rectilinear pattern of late Iron Age or early Roman settlement.

Location:
LANGTON BY WRAGBY, EAST LINDSEY, LINCOLNSHIRE

Description:
PRN 46735
A possible settlement site was identified by a relatively dense concentration of Iron Age to early Romano-British pottery collected during field walking.{1}{2}

A rectilinear pattern of late Iron Age or early Roman ditches and a large circular ring gully were exposed during evaluation trenching and subsequent area excavation. Two phases of occupation were recorded. Three ring gullies represent the earliest phase of activity on site these gullies were shallow and extensively damaged by ploughing, but the interpretation of them as the remains of small roundhouses of a late Iron Age settlement is reasonable. This phase is dated to the mid to late Iron Age. In the following phase, the ditches of a field system were established, cutting through the sites of earlier structures. This phase is dated to the late Iron Age / early Roman transition or 'Conquest' period. Subsequent activity on the site appears to have followed alignments established at this time. Two internments date from the time when the field system ditches and gullies were still open. Although the bone was in a poor state of preservation, the burials found in two ditches were articulated and undisturbed. They had not been thrown into the ditch, but had been placed in the crouched position and covered over. Iron Age burials are a rare phenomenon in the East Midlands. Phase 2, dating to the early Roman period, consisted of the recutting of ditches and the erection of structures. Two structures were both assigned to Phase 2, but it is unlikely that they were contemporary. Structure 1 was a fairly typical roundhouse, larger than the earlier examples and with more surviving evidence of its structure. A series of slots and postholes made up Structure 2, interpreted as animals pens. Overall the structures seem to represent the remains of an early small Romano-British farmstead. The recutting of ditches may have enclosed the roundhouse and associated structures. Unfortunately the conjectural corners of the enclosure were beyond the limits of the excavation.{1}{2}

The pottery is almost exclusively late Iron Age to early Roman date. The assemblage consists mainly of Iron Age gritty ware, Iron Age sandy ware and shell-tempered and vesicular wares. The presence of Terra Rubra, a very rare import of the Claudian period, is the first example to be found in central Lincolnshire. This exclusive fine ware occurs at both the late Iron Age settlement at Old Sleaford and the sites of the crossings at North and South Ferriby. Other exotic imports were also recorded: one possible sherd of Terra Nigra and four sherds Gallo-Belgic white ware. Another equally rare vessel, used for parting and refining metals, emerged from the metal working assemblage and is the only example of late Iron Age to early Roman date from Lincolnshire. Parting vessels are extremely rare finds, only three contemporary examples are known and all of these are from urban sites (Chichester, Exeter and London) and it is also the most northerly one found of this date. The process of parting appears to be a Roman introduction to Britain - it is though that the reason for the sudden appearance of this process into the archaeological record is due to the major differences between the purity of Iron Age and Roman gold. The occupants at the site were obviously becoming Romanised in their lifestyle, even before the Conquest, and perhaps this indicates that they wished to convert their precious metals to an acceptable Roman quality. It is likely that having parted the bullion the metals were then made into fashionable Romano-British objects, to reinforce their willingness and acceptance of a Roman way of life. The high status of the occupants, as is suggested by the pottery assemblage, is further reinforced by this find.
The site appears to straddle the period of transition from the Iron Age to a Romanised way of life, a transition that appears to have been relatively smooth, with a gradual increase in the use of Roman pottery.{1}{2}

Sources:
1 Intervention Report: Network Archaeology Ltd. Apr 2003. Archaeological Evaluation, Excavation and Watching Brief on the Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline 2001. HAT00
2 Excavation Archive: Network Archaeology Ltd. Apr 2003. Archaeological Evaluation, Excavation and Watching Brief on the Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline 2001. LCNCC 2000.102

Links:
Lincolnshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external weblinks.
The following reports are available from the ADS digital library.
1 Intervention Report: Network Archaeology Ltd. Apr 2003. Archaeological Evaluation, Excavation and Watching Brief on the Hatton to Silk Willoughby Gas Pipeline 2001. HAT00

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Last updated: 03-December-2017 13:43:47

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