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Archaeology & Culture

Digging for the Deep World of Devon’s Roman Ruins

Earthwatchers investigated the function of a rich archaeological site from Roman times discovered in Devon, England.

Previously Funded Expedition

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

Research on this site significantly contributed to our understanding of life in the Romano–British world on the edges of the Roman Empire.

This Roman site enabled archaeologists to explore and better understand the daily lives of Britons during the time of the Roman Empire.

The discovery of this Romano–British site is of tremendous importance; there is nothing comparable to it in Devon, and research on this site significantly contributed to our understanding of life in the Romano–British world on the edges of the Roman Empire. The initial geophysical survey of the site revealed many archaeological features lying below the ground, over an area of several acres. Because the geophysical results were so remarkable, the British Museum and the Roman Research Trust provided funding for an archaeological evaluation that took place in March 2011.

Roman coin found on Earthwatch Archaeology Dig

Roman coin discovered in Devon.

The findings from this pilot survey revealed a Roman road, a square enclosure ditch of Roman date, and an Iron Age, Romano–British roundhouse. Many fragments of pottery were also recovered, including imported wares such as amphorae from Spain and decorated samian ware (reddish-brown pottery). More coins were found, along with a fragment of human bone, dating to the Roman period. The findings of the pilot survey confirmed the date and significance of the site but also revealed that there were even more potential archaeological findings than those detailed in the geophysical survey.

About the research area

Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom, Europe & Russia

Daily life in the field

Itinerary

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The Scientists

MEET THE LEAD SCIENTIST

Ioana
Oltean
Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter

ABOUT Ioana Oltean

Earthwatch archaeologist Dr. Ioana Oltean studies the archaeology of the Roman Empire and is working toward an understanding of the nature and extent of Roman imperialism in Europe.

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