The Romans in Dorset

Archaeology update - Spring 2021

Over the last six months we have focused our excavations primarily on a small Roman settlement located on an exposed hillside.

The site was identified back in 2018 and we believed it to comprise small enclosures of late Roman date, a corn drier and several large millstones indicating crop processing. We have now identified eight rectangular stone-built structures and a whole overlapping series of quarry pits, far exceeding our expectations.

In addition to the previously identified corn-drier, two large malting ovens have been exposed. The size of the millstones would require either cattle, water or perhaps even slave-power to operate, indicating a relatively sizable production output.

Other archaeological updates
We have also uncovered evidence of the people who occupied these structures in the form of 34 burials encompassing all age ranges from neonates to adults. Pottery from the graves has been dated to the late Iron Age / early Roman period, suggesting the activity within the site spanned from the late Iron Age (1st century BC) through to the late Roman period (4th century AD), approximately 500 years.

Bead from a bracelet

Bone textile combe

Corn drying oven