Saturday, 30 August 2014
Our first trench is now coming to an end and we have made great progress with the ditch. One more day digging and we should be at the base and have a full profile. Meanwhile it continues to produce some great pottery fragments:
On 6th September we will have an open day for the villagers and DDCAG members to see the and find out what we have been up to so far. Also the plan for Trench 2!
Last time we were on site we found this:
Saturday, 16 August 2014
It is looking as if there was a substantial building nearby into which much of the material from it, after it was abandoned, was dumped into this ditch. The military base, that the substantial 3m wide ditch surrounded, must have been also long gone when this happened. The building material, pottery and possible painted plaster (found today) indicate a high class building, perhaps a well-to-do farmhouse or even villa.
Wednesday, 6 August 2014
Saturday, 2 August 2014
Here is some research for our site by Richard.
in Antiquity Compton
A short introduction to the area before excavations to be carried out by Dorset Diggers
Richard Hood June 2014
The name Nether Compton is Saxon and means the lower settlement in the valley (Comp as in Coombe). The village lies in North Dorset close to the
border, where the Trent Brook flows down to the River Yeo. It is first mentioned with Over Compton as
Contone in the Doomsday book as held by Sherborne Abbey. Reference to the Victoria History of Dorset,
Hutchins History of Dorset and other Dorset histories do not give much
information about early Somerset ,
providing more on the Church, interesting buildings and landowners. However there is mention of ‘Lynchets on a SW
slope 1 ½ miles NE of the Church with six terraces’ and ‘Lynchets in Home Copse
600 yards S of the Church’. A passing
reference to Athuros may relate to nearby Compton South Cadbury
and the Arthurian legend of Camelot.
The records of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society mention surface finds of worked flint, Romano-British and mediaeval pottery being made on Charlock Hill one mile to the NE of Nether Compton. Other similar finds were found SW of Charlock Hill in the parish of Nether Compton, Romano-British finds being found at the marl pit map ref. 61541832. A child’s skull was excavated from the face of the of the marl pit by Mr C E Bean. Coarse Romano-British pottery along with iron slag was also found indicating possible smelting of local iron bearing ore having taken place. A hand made bead-rim pottery sherd found in the marl pit indicates pre-Roman activity in conjunction with a settlement site a few hundred yards to the N excavated by Mr J Fowler. For more details the Society records can be inspected in the Dorset History Centre in
In 1989 a metal detectorist discovered a hoard of 22,670 Roman coins in a field adjacent to
Kitton Lane in the
parish of Nether Compton. The coins were
mainly of bronze and from the time of the
dynasty, 4th century AD, with the earliest being Aurelian. Following the find, Constantine and Camerton Archaeological Society
became involved and carried out a geophysical investigation of the area. A detailed report of their findings can be
found on a 2011 publication by Mr John Oswin available online as a PDF file. Bath
The findings indicate traces of buildings that may have been a Roman fort and associated buildings. From 2014 onwards Dorset Diggers, an archaeological excavation group, have permission and funding to excavate the fields in the area to reveal what has been indicated by the geophysical survey. Should the excavations reveal a Roman fort, its date and period of use would be of great interest, and hopefully explaining whether it was an invasion fort of Vespasians 2nd Agusta Legion on their way to
or a later fort built to pacify the local Durotriges tribe who had resisted the
Roman invasion from nearby South Cadbury hill
These and other questions will be answered on completion of the works to be carried out over the next few years.
The Western Gazette has an article about our site online, so have a look. I was down a deep hole during this phone interview! The reporter has done a decent job understanding the information I was trying to give her, although using the word 'camp' has overtones of the scouts. With a 3m wide ditch for a defense this was quite a ging-gang-gooley of a camp.