Ipplepen: Life on the Edge of the Roman Empire (awarded 2022)

Ipplepen is a substantial roadside settlement near Newton Abbot in Devon, that was discovered after a concentration of Roman coins were reported to the PAS. A programme of survey and excavation in 2011-2019 revealed occupation from the Middle Iron Age through to the early medieval period. The post-excavation programme is progressing well with the analysis of all categories of material culture and palaeoenvironmental material either underway or completed. The work funded by the Roman Research Trust has produced some important results. The 17.5kg of metallurgical debris was analysed by Tim Young. Most of the material was Roman and derived from iron smithing, with just a single piece of smelting slag; there was also evidence for non-ferrous metalworking. Denise Allen has reported on the 110 fragments of Roman glass from a minimum of 40 vessels that are likely to be both early and late Roman. Naomi Payne has reported on the small assemblage of Roman ceramic building material, comprising 52 fragments weighing a total of 2,018g: this included 3 tegula fragments, 1 imbrex, 1 box-flue tile and 1 possible bessalis, while fabric analysis suggest a source in the Exeter area. This is a very small assemblage for such a large roadside settlement, but along with its diversity this is par for the course in Roman Devon!