On Wednesday 16 March, Colin Palmer-Brown, Director of Pre-Construct Archaeological Services, spoke to an SLHA audience in Lincoln about the recent excavations at Navenby that have revealed an impressive range of prehistoric and Roman remains.
Colin articulated a complex sequence of occupation from the early prehistoric period. There are slight indications of a henge monument, c.130 metres in diameter, still to be explored. Finds of Bronze Age urns could mean that there was a barrow cemetery in the area. Late Iron Age discoveries included enclosure ditches containing large round-houses that probably represent a homestead occupied as late as the early Roman period.
As with several similar sites in the county, no Roman fort has yet been discovered in spite of finds of early military artefacts, reinforcing the idea that there was a prehistoric predecessor to Ermine Street. The main Roman settlement, from the second century AD, took the form of ribbon development along Ermine Street, with a possible official posting-station (mansio) set back to the east of the road.
Several adjacent buildings on the western side of the road were excavated in 2009, and burials, possibly in family plots, were found to their rear. An estimate suggests a built-up area c.900m long, with a population in excess of 500. There were also signs of ritual behaviour, including feasting. Some burials and occupation appeared to belong to the early Saxon period.
Detailed publication of the investigations is now at editorial stage.
March 2011excavations, Navenby, prehistoric, Roman, monument, Bronze, urns, barrow, cemetery, Iron, Roman,