Reconstructed Romano-British pot

Romano-British coarse ware jar in situ
Romano-British coarse ware jar in situ
Reconstructed RB Coarse ware jar
Reconstructed RB Coarse ware jar

Hi everyone, I just thought you might be interested to see this new image of the Romano-British coarse ware jar that we excavated from the fill of one of our two main ring ditches this season. One of our Undergraduate students Cristina Crizbasan has reconstructed it for us. You may be able to see that it has wiped surface treatment on the lower half and has a narrow band of obtuse lattice decoration at the top. In form and decoration it resembles a Greyhound Yard type 2 or type 3 jar, although the fabric is not typical of SE Dorset BBW, so probably a local variant. The date range for this form typically spans the 2nd and 5th centuries AD. However, vessels with narrow bands of obtuse lattice decoration are generally later. In fact the narrower the band the later the pot! (see Woodward et al. 1993, ‘Excavations at Greyhound Yard, Dorchester, 1981-4’, DNHAS Monograph 12, pp. 230-231).

Last chance to see finds!

Dear Blog followers,

Last chance (for the time being!) to see our amazing Roman pottery finds from this season before they go to the University to be processed and analysed. Our display case is now full and includes decorated Samian ware depicting human figures (our very own ‘Ipplepen archer’!). We’re at the Hub in Ipplepen Methodist Church until Thursday afternoon.

Hope to see you there!

Excavation day 17 (Friday 24th June)

Today was quite a warm day, with excavation and Open Day preparation keeping the team very busy. The team also did a lot of residue sorting- a lot of patience is required for this task as we painstakingly go through samples to find tiny charred grains of cereal. Thanks to the interested visitors who had seen our excavation on BBC Spotlight last night and wanted to see more of the intriguing finds we are uncovering.

The Hub
The Hub – we now have many more finds in our display case!

Excavation day 16 (Thursday 23rd June)

Thursday was another good day for excavation, pictured here is the complete pot that Enfys and Danielle excavated, we can’t wait to analyse the content and get a proper look at it once experts have had the chance to look at it. We were also overjoyed to welcome back Katy to the site, who has been involved in the project since the very start. Jim, one of the site’s discoverers also visited the site. It was wonderful to welcome them both.

Katie and Jim, the people who have been involved with the site the longest
Katie and Jim, the people who have been involved with the site the longest
Katie and Danielle with the amazing entire vessel
Katie and Danielle with the amazing entire vessel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the evening, students gathered for a guided walk from Bill Horner, Devon County Archaeologist, and John, the ranger, who gave interesting talks on Denbury and it’s context within the wider landscape. The Iron Age hillfort is inter-visible with Ipplepen, so it was great to hear more about the site.

Students on the ramparts at Denbury
Students on the ramparts at Denbury
Bill Horner talking to the group at the very top of Denbury
Bill Horner talking to the group at the very top of Denbury

Last chance to see 2016 finds!

Dear Blog followers,

Last chance (for the time being!) to see our amazing Roman pottery finds from this season before they go to the University to be processed and analysed. Our display case is now full and includes decorated Samian ware depicting human figures (our very own ‘Ipplepen archer’!). We’re at the Hub in Ipplepen Methodist Church until Thursday afternoon.

Hope to see you there!

 

Excavation day 18 (Monday 27th June)

Today we were happy to have Dr Lukas Holata on site, a research fellow in the University of Exeter’s archaeology department. While the team set down tools and took their lunch break, Lukas got to work taking over 700 images in order to create a 3D image of the site. We’re looking forward to seeing the results!

In other news, the ditch with the quern stone find has been fully excavated by Jon and friends. Today Thea and Stewart were busy planning and drawing it, here is a picture of Thea in the fully excavated pit.

Thea in the fully excavated trench
Thea in the fully excavated trench

Another interesting feature that has been excavated is this possible well that Enfys and Jerry have been excavating.

Jerry in the possible well
Jerry in the possible well

More of the team have been washing finds today, and it has been good weather for drying them. Some really interesting pottery sherds are being processed, and you can see some beautiful examples of these in the Hub until Thursday afternoon. Come and visit them soon, as it will be the last chance for the year. We have some spectacular pieces in the display cabinet!

Open Day Today!

Good Morning, we’re looking forward to seeing everyone today at our Open Day from 10:30am to 3:30pm! We hope you have a good time and enjoy the day.

Our student Alicia is doing her dissertation on public engagement and archaeological sites. We’d be grateful if people could complete this quick online survey about the day, we would really appreciate your feedback. Many thanks in advance.

https://freeonlinesurveys.com/s/191avq1a#/

Come along to our Open Day this Saturday!

This Saturday 25th June we will be welcoming the public once again for our annual Open Day! Come along for a fun-filled day of archaeology and activities. There is something for every age and lots to do and learn for the whole family.

Young visitors learn to use an Iron Age quern
Young visitors learn to use an Iron Age quern

From 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, we have lots of fun and interesting things to see and do, including:

  • Guided tours of the excavation
  • Ipplepen Carnival Club tea tent
  • The chance to see our finds from this year’s excavation in the finds tent
  • The British Museum and Portable Antiquities Scheme’s Dr. Sam Moorhead, Roman Coin expert
  • County Archaeologist Bill Horner
  • Aisling Tuohy on horses in the Iron Age
  • and back again this year by popular demand is the hand-made Egyptian food!

And bringing the archaeology to life in our ‘Living section, we have three amazing re-enactor groups!

  • The Vicus (Roman)
  • Isca Romans (Roman)
  • Dumnonika (Iron Age)
Romans on the road!
Romans on the road!

Come and experience what life would have been like in Ipplepen during the Iron Age and Roman periods with us. You can also get hands-on with history by learning how to make your own clay pots with supervisor Mandy and Exeter University student Reyhanne.

We have marquees for all weather shelter and a tea tent, refreshments and outdoor toilets. The site will be signposted on the day from the pertrol garage on the A381 (Newton Abbot to Totnes road)- please follow the green signs. It promises to be a great day for all! We look forward to welcoming you on site and showing you around!

A tour group on the 2015 Open Day
A tour group on the 2015 Open Day

If you are unavailable on Saturday, you can come along to our Information Hub at Ipplepen Methodist Church, Monday to Friday 9:30 am – 4:15 pm until June 30th.

Keep following for more updates, we look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Excavation day 15 (Wednesday 22nd June)

What a day! You may have seen a lot of articles today about our excavation and finds, and what it all means for Roman Britain. Here is a well written article from the Guardian. Have a look at our Facebook page and Twitter for more! We also welcomed some pottery experts on site today to analyse our wealth of pottery finds. Here are some pictures of the type of finds they have been analysing.

Beautiful sherd of pottery
Beautiful sherd of pottery with cross hatched decoration
Samian ware with bow and arrow decoration
Fragment of Roman Samian ware, decorated  with a figure holding bow and arrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news, Jon (who has travelled all the way from America to excavate on our site!) and our University of Exeter students have made great progress on excavating the quern stones in the fifth layer of fill in a ditch. The quern stone now appears to be broken. The trench has yielded not only fragments of pottery, but also bone and charcoal, which can both be radiocarbon dated. Jon says “It’s brilliant to find something this large, we haven’t really found any other artefacts this size on the site.” We wish him and the team the best of luck with the rest of the excavation.

Stewart, Thea, Jon, Max and Eli with the quern stone ditch
Stewart, Thea, Jon, Max and Eli with the quern stone ditch
The impressive quern stone and ditch
The impressive quern stone and ditch

Excavation day 14 (Tuesday 21st June)

ITV News West Country filming students washing finds
ITV News West Country filming students washing finds
Professor Stephen Rippon, site manager with the impressive Iron Age round house

It was a busy day on site today, with journalists visiting the excavation. Pictured are students washing pottery finds being filmed by ITV News West Country. We are now certain we have an Iron Age ring ditch which most likely once had a roundhouse in the middle of it! The ditch would have acted as a drain around the outside of the house to help to soak away water from the house when it rained. As you can see in these pictures, the circular ring ditch is very large- marked out in yellow buckets. There is one main entrance between two termini, and two smaller gaps. Interestingly, there is evidence for a second similar sized round house inter-cutting the first, rebuilt very close to the original house. Pottery analysis found in both contexts will be analysed this week.  We do not have great evidence for the different sections within the house due to later ploughing. However, this find is hugely significant as it shows us how, where and when people were living in Ipplepen. Come along to our Open Day this Saturday to see it for yourself!