Becoming Roman, Being Gallic, Staying British: Research and Excavations at Ditches 'hillfort' and villa 1984-2006

Becoming Roman, Being Gallic, Staying British: Research and Excavations at Ditches 'hillfort' and villa 1984-2006


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Excavations carried out from 1984-1985 at Ditches in Gloucestershire identified a large, late Iron Age enclosure which contained a remarkably early Roman villa. This long awaited excavation report reinterprets this evidence in the light of more recent studies of the late Iron Age-Roman transition. It extends our understanding of the Ditches-Bagendon-Cirencester oppida complex, and corroborates the latest thinking on the nature of Romanisation. New conceptions are challenging the significance of the Claudian invasion of AD 43, suggesting that Roman political influence in southern Britain was much more important than commonly thought decades before this. The Roman takeover was a long drawn-out process, which began especially with intimate links between Caesar and his successors and the dynasts they supported or implanted in Britain on the other. High status archaeological sites are central to these relations, including the so-called oppida , developed in southern Britain in the decades between Caesar's raids and the Claudian occupation. Ditches provides further corroborative evidence. Several phases of Romano-British building were uncovered, revealing an unusual sequence of development for a villa in the region and representing an exceptionally early villa beyond southeast England. Discoveries included a well-preserved cellar and a range of finds, including Gallo-Belgic wares, Iron Age coins, coin moulds, Venus figurines and brooches indicating high-status occupation. The form and date of the villa also provides evidence of connections between the late Iron Age elites and communities of southern England and Gaul. Further evidence suggests the villa was abandoned in the later second century AD, emphasizing the unusual sequence of the site.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781842173367
Publisher: Oxbow Books
Publication date: 12/31/2008
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

The Excavations


The 1984–5 Excavations; Preservation of the villa Stephen Trow

Geophysical survey Tom Moore

Discussion of the Iron Age and Roman remains Stephen Trow, Simon James and Tom Moore

The Finds

Gallo-Belgic and local finewares Val Rigby

The Samian Steven Willis

The Coarseware pottery Tom Moore

Brooches Don Mackreth

Iron Age coins Colin Haselgrove

Roman coins Richard Reece

Claudian provincial coin Robert Kenyon

An Iron finger-ring Martin Henig

Pipeclay figurines Catherine Johns

Glass John Shepherd; The touchstone Stephen Trow, with Andrew Middleton and David Moore; Worked stone Fiona Roe; Worked bone Stephen Trow;
Lead/lead alloy snake bracelet Catherine Johns

Finds of lead alloy Stephen Trow

Finds of copper alloy Stephen Trow

Finds of iron Stephen Trow

Carpentry nails Stephen Trow

Finds of baked clay Stephen Trow and Tom Moore

Wall plaster Tom Moore

Marine mollusk shells Stephen Trow and Tom Moore

Human remains Kirsi Lorentz and Tom Moore

The charred plant remains Jacqueline P. Huntley

Animal bone Kevin Rielly

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