The Rural Settlement of Roman Britain: an online resource

Martyn Allen, Nathan Blick, Tom Brindle, Tim Evans, Michael Fulford, Neil Holbrook, Lisa Lodwick, Julian D Richards, Alex Smith, 2015 (updated 2018)

Data copyright © University of Reading unless otherwise stated

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Prof Michael Fulford
Professor of Archaeology
School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science
University of Reading
PO Box 218
Tel: 0118 3788048

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Resource identifiers

Digital Object Identifiers

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Sample Citation for this DOI

Martyn Allen, Nathan Blick, Tom Brindle, Tim Evans, Michael Fulford, Neil Holbrook, Lisa Lodwick, Julian D Richards, Alex Smith (2018) The Rural Settlement of Roman Britain: an online resource [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Head representing the River Tyne

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Roman bronze head from York

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In 2018 209 records were added from the sample of 23 towns examined by the associated Defended small towns of Roman Britain project. Users can choose to include or exclude these from their search using the switch buttons immediately below.

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Site Classification
Site Type Major: broad category of site classification based upon perceived function. Note: a site may have more than one category
Site Type Minor: sub-category of site classification based upon perceived function. Note: a site may have more than one category
Rural Settlement form:

enclosed: Rural settlement where all or the majority of domestic and associated activity were contained within one or two enclosures. Internal space not sub-divided to a significant degree.

unenclosed: Rural settlement where there does not appear to be any archaeologically traceable physical boundary enclosing the main domestic core.

complex: Rural settlement where there appears to be significant differentiation of space, either as a system of conjoined enclosures or as a significant outer enclosure with many internal sub-divisions. Differentiation of space tends to reflect different activity areas, e.g. domestic, storage, agricultural processing, industrial, livestock enclosures etc.

unclassified: The form of the rural settlement could not be determined due to insufficient area excavated, extensive truncation or the lack of a site plan.

Non-domestic structures:

‘Bathhouse’: A building or part of a building with heated room(s) interpreted as being used for personal bathing/cleansing.

‘Storage’: Structure(s) interpreted as being used for storing commodities (e.g. granary)

‘Well’: A pit dug for water supply believed to have been used for human consumption and often lined with stone or wood.

‘Corndrier’: A structure used for roasting germinated cereal grains for the production of malt and the parching/drying of grain for consumption and storage.

‘Kiln’: A thermally insulated oven used for production of pottery and ceramic building material.

‘SFB’: Sunken-featured building. A building with a lowered floor, usually dating to the early Anglo-Saxon period, though also found in some Roman settlements. ‘Workshop’: a building or structure interpreted specifically as being used in an industrial and/or craftworking capacity

‘Mill’: A building or structure associated with large scale grinding of cereal grains

Site Details
Multi-room building Aisled building Masonry building i
Multi-room building: Presence of at least one building within the area of investigation that is divided into two or more rooms
Aisled building: Presence of at least one building defined by two rows of aisle posts
Masonry building: Presence of at least one building where stone has been used in the construction, at the very least as part of the foundations.
Between   and   i
Start date: Date of commencement of activity within the excavated area. Note that sites beginning in the middle Iron Age or earlier will show as ‘-100’.

End date: Date of cessation of activity. Note that an end date of 400 is given when sites are described as ‘continuing until the end of the Roman period’.

Thgs search will return sites where the submitted range date falls between the 'occupation' start and end dates recorded in the database. For example on a search of
200 to 300:

a site recorded as 43-410 will be included
a site recorded as 250-350 will be included
a site recorded as 190-210 will be included

Please note, that these dates apply to the settlement phasing, not individual features.
Paddocks/stock enclosures: Presence of enclosures thought likely to have been used for enclosure of animals
Structured deposits: Presence of structured or placed deposits, defined as 'Deposition of carefully selected objects that took place episodically according to culturally and cosmologically predetermined sequences'
Trackway/road: Presence of at least one trackway or droveway or metalled road associated with the site.
Brooches + Coins
Other finds
Plant data (rural settlement forms only)
Zooarchaeological data
This section allows you to filter by presence of particular species, groups of species or other pertinent zooarchaeological evidence. Particular categories can be further filtered by the presence of neonatal bones
Sheep/Goat       Neonatal
Cattle                 Neonatal
Pig                     Neonatal
Horse                 Neonatal
Red Deer
Roe Deer
Domestic fowl     Neonatal
Wetland fowl
Marine shell
Egg shell
Excavation and Report details
This section is designed for those with an interest in the method of publication, as well as concordance with existing systems for recording of the historic environment - namely OASIS and HERs. It should be noted that concordance with existing HER monument records was undertaken by the project on a best-efforts basis and it is likely that discrepencies and omissions exist.
(enter any part of the organisation or personal name)
(Tick this for all sites with an unpublished report)
(Tick this for all sites with reports disseminated through OASIS)
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(Tick this to return all records which have recorded an HER identifier)
(Enter a specific HER monument ID)