Gill Mill Quarry, Oxfordshire

Oxford Archaeology (South), 2012

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Oxford Archaeology (South) (2012) Gill Mill Quarry, Oxfordshire [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Photograph of dodacehedron

A programme of archaeological examination at Gill Mill gravel quarry near Witney, Oxfordshire, commenced in 1988 and is still ongoing, the work falling into Phase 1, (Sitecode: DUGM) and Phase 2, (Sitecode: SLGM), undertaken under different planning conditions. The present assessment report considers the archaeological record for both phases of work The significance of the site lies in two main aspects: the scale of examination and the character of the archaeological features revealed.

The Phase 1 works have covered a total of c 68 ha, while in Phase 2 some 35 ha have been examined to date. The earliest significant features revealed belong to the middle Iron Age - with four small discrete clusters of features, three of which may represent occupation, perhaps seasonal in nature. Limited late Iron Age-early Roman activity lay adjacent to one of these foci. A totally new nucleated settlement was established in the valley bottom in the early 2nd century AD. Covering at least 10 hectares (the central part of which lies beneath the present Gill Mill House). The settlement was laid out around paved roads running across and along the valley. The settlement plan was characterised by ditched enclosures containing a variety of structural and other evidence.

In total parts of four stone buildings have been revealed (two totally excavated), although other structures are less easily identified. Rare high status structural elements are suggested by small quantities of flue tile and tesserae. Large numbers of pits are present in parts of the site, and waterlogged or partly waterlogged material has survived in some of these. Cremation and inhumation burials are mainly scattered around the margin of the settlement; amongst these a mid 2nd-century inhumation within a wooden chamber beneath a ditched mound is of exceptional importance for the region.

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