Friday, 18 August 2017

"What did the Roman's ever do for us?"

"Well there's your Romano- British settlement in Osmington"...

In 1968 an extensive archaeological excavation took place along the Roman road bridleway towards Poxwell.
The Commission on Historical Monuments initiated the dig and listed the findings in 1970, stating that the site is an occupation site associated with ancient field groups.  So what does that mean?
To summarise briefly, they found an extensive site of  habitation dating from the early Bronze age all the way through to medieval times.  The site has been fortunate to be preserved due to agricultural development over the years. Basically, the really old artifacts were buried even deeper due to medieval cultivation of strip lynchets and soil moving down the hillside. This preserved what remained there until they dug it up in 1968.

Romano-British sites were often robbed of their contents and archaeologists believe this happened here too. But they believe that it was a big settlement so what they discovered was only a fraction of what was there originally.

So what did they find?

There were pottery jars, bowls, a jug, flint scrapers, a coin, bracelets, iron plates and shears and Roman nails, animal bones. They also found corn drier ovens and the Romano skeletons of a lady and a child dated to 150 AD and a Bronze age Barrow complete with skeleton.
The lady has been identified as being buried in the Romano-British period so here you have one of our Roman ancestors. We've decided to call her Octavia.
The pottery especially has enabled experts to date the remains to several specific periods in time

1. Late Neolithic - Early Bronze age (2500 BC-2000 BC)
2. Iron age (400-150 BC)
3. Romano-British AD 200-300
4. 4th Century
5. Medieval (5th-15th Century)
 Remains of a corn drying oven found at the site.

It has often been quoted that Osmington has been in existence for around 900 years (when it was mentioned in the Doomsday book as Osmetone). This evidence is conclusive proof the area has been populated for at least 5000 years.

The artifacts removed from the site have been housed at the Dorset County museum.

Source of data: Dorset Natural History & Archaeological Society.
(NB. This is a brief summary of what was found during the dig).

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