An archaeological trench evaluation on land at Dainton Elms Cross, Ipplepen, Devon (SX 8473 6650), was carried out during March 2011, following an earlier geophysical survey which had suggested the presence of an extensive late Iron Age and Romano-British settlement landscape. The work comprised the machine excavation of 3 trenches totalling 74m in length, with each trench 1.6m wide. The trenches targeted a series of anomalies identified during the geophysical survey. Excavation revealed substantial sub-rectangular enclosures, with evidence for internal occupation. The remnants of a Roman road with flanking ditches were also identified. The finds included sherds of late Iron Age and 1st-2nd century Roman pottery, although a number of features included later wares indicating occupation of the site perhaps into the 4th century AD. A probable Roman well was also exposed. The large number of features identified throughout the three trenches indicates that the survival of archaeological features is appreciably more extensive than was initially thought. The full size and layout of the settlement is not known, although it is likely to extend beyond the site. The RRT supported this work through its grant funding.
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