Site Update: Central M40, Phase 4, Land at Overthorpe Road, Banbury, Northamptonshire.

TVAS has been excavating a large site near Banbury for the last few months and have now completed the fieldwork.

An initial geophysical survey was undertaken at the site as well as an evaluation. These previous works revealed a site with an extensive network of ditches with roundhouses in several areas. Due to these initial discoveries the area moved to a complete excavation. The first area that was stripped showed that there was indeed extensive use of the site, possibly even more than had originally been expected.

Banbury excavation drone photo
Above: The entire site as excavation neared its conclusion.

The excavations revealed a series of roundhouse inside enclosures across the site. The first phase of works had revealed three roundhouses and the larger, more recent, work has revealed a further five or six. The number of houses and ditches suggests a larger farm or possibly a small village, although there is a possibility the area has been used for trading due tot he enclosures in the centre of the site. As the artefacts are examined and the contexts sequenced the picture will become clearer showing what the use of the site was. Regardless of the sites use it was certainly an important centre for the Iron Age population.

Banbury excavation drone photo close up of roundhouse
Above: A distinct roundhouse and surrounding ditches.

One of the more interesting features of the site is the depth of the ditches. The entrance way to one of the enclosures has terminal ends that are 1.6m deep. This depth isn't uncommon for these enclosures across the site. In addition to this the width of these ditches was around 2m. Such large ditches produce large amounts of spoil, however the roundhouses and other smaller features are too close to the ditches on the inside to allow for a bank of the appropriate size.

Banbury Excavation sequence of ditches Banbury Excavation sequence of ditches
Left: Aerial shot of ditches and enclosures Right: Aerial shot showing ditches and enclosures in relation to roundhouses.

The artefacts from the site are currently being analysed by specialists and a report is forthcoming. For information about similar sites please explore the links below.


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