Analysis of courseware pottery from Bagendon (awarded 2016)

How did the Late Iron Age pre-Roman centres (oppida) in Britain emerge? What form did Roman occupation take at those which were not replaced directly by Roman towns? To answer these questions, and many more, the Bagendon Project has been examining the Late Iron Age oppidum of Bagendon, Gloucestershire. A detailed study of the ceramics from the excavations of two Mid-Late Iron Age enclosures (2012-14) and a small Roman villa (2015) within the oppidum provides important insights into the chronology of the complex prior to the Late Iron Age and the nature of occupation after its abandonment in the Roman period. Analysis of the ceramics by specialist Dr Jane Timby has emphasised the pre-oppida banjo-like enclosures date to the Middle Iron Age, but also indicates that both appear to have had activity as late as the 1st century BC and AD. This supports the impression from the radiocarbon dates that these enclosures were only abandoned at the time the main occupation of the oppidum commenced in the 1st century AD. This has important wider implications for understanding what precursors existed in the landscape before the oppidum and how the site’s expansion in the Late Iron Age related to this occupation.