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HER Number: 16024
Record Type: Monument
Name: Prehistoric and Roman Settlement at Heyford Road

Grid Reference: SP 477 255

Monument Type(s):

  • PIT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE? (Middle Iron Age - 400 BC to 101 BC)
  • DITCH (Roman to Medieval - 43 AD to 1539 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Roman to Medieval - 43 AD to 1539 AD)


Evaluation and excavation carried out prior to housing development. Some Neolithic activity on site.

Associated Monuments

  • None
  • Associated Finds:

  • FOX12493 - SHERD (Early Neolithic to Roman - 4000 BC to 409 AD)
  • Description

    (1) Evaluation prior to housing development consisted of 4 trenches being dug. These yielded 6 ditches, 1 pit and 1 grave. One ditch is likely to be Roman in date, while the others may be medieval. Prehistoric domestic activity is suggested by the aceramic, burnt composition of pit fill(s) in the easternmost trench, but not elsewhere. Roman occupation is suggested by Shelly ware in the bottom of deeply cut Ditch 211, and the inhumation is thought to be Roman because of its E-W orientation and alignment with Heyford Road. Although apparently on its own, other burials either side of the evaluation trenches wuld be possible. Medieval plough scars are visible and several of the undated ditches are presumed to be medieval field boundaries. Environmental evidence suggests nearby domestic activity
    (2)(3) OAU carried out 2 phases of excavation which revealed earliest features to be isolated pit yielding neolithic pottery and flint, and 2 related ditchess that seem to form terminal ends to former enclosure. Pit cluster grouped in area dated to MIA; similar group of 8 pits to SE end of excavation and 7 in between all on linear alignment and of MIA date. Undated E-W linear feature with cobbled base paralleled by 2nd narrower undated ditch with 3 adult inhumations and nearby child skeleton were also found.
    (4) Excavations revealed range of IA ditches and pits, a Roman trackway and associated ditch and burials, as well as one pit possibly dating to early Neolithic and other redeposited Neolithic artefacts. EIA site had clear spatial structure consisting f outer ditches pierced by narrow entrance, an alighnment of pits or tree-throw holes, and group of storage pits. Differing kinds of material were deposited in each of these 3 groups: cattle in pit alignment, sheep in storage pits and human remains in ditch. MIA settlement was replaced with field boundaries and tracway, the latter of which may have formed the prescursor for more substntial Roman trackway which runs across the site. Burials found in and near ditch running parallel to roman trackway. Limited Post Med activity on site

    <1> Oxford Archaeology, 1997, Heyford Road, Steeple Aston, Oxfordshire: Archaeological Evaluation Report (Unpublished document). SOX697.

    <2> CBA South Midlands Group, South Midlands Archaeology, Vol 28 (1998) p.89 (Serial). SOX5.

    <3> Oxford Archaeology, 1998, Steeple Aston, Land near Upper Heyford Road: Post Excavation Assessment and Research Design (Unpublished document). SOX696.

    <4> Oxford Architectural & Historical Society, Oxoniensia, vol LXV (2000), pp 161-210 (Serial). SOX284.


    <1>Oxford Archaeology. 1997. Heyford Road, Steeple Aston, Oxfordshire: Archaeological Evaluation Report. [Unpublished document / SOX697]
    <2>CBA South Midlands Group. South Midlands Archaeology. Vol 28 (1998) p.89. [Serial / SOX5]
    <3>Oxford Archaeology. 1998. Steeple Aston, Land near Upper Heyford Road: Post Excavation Assessment and Research Design. [Unpublished document / SOX696]
    <4>Oxford Architectural & Historical Society. Oxoniensia. vol LXV (2000), pp 161-210. [Serial / SOX284]