South Cadbury Environs Project

Late Iron Age

The plotting of Late Iron Age test pit pottery is far from straight forward. Material is either diagnostically of the period or is likely to belong to it because of the lack of association with diagnostically Romano-British material. This has been superimposed on the distribution of Poole Harbour fabrics and local derivatives which might equally be Iron Age or Roman. The distribution of the latter category has the inherent disadvantage that it conceals breaks in the sequence as it is common to both periods. On Sigwells, for instance, there appears to have been a hiatus during the mid to later first century AD, perhaps of only a few decades, before occupation resumed.

Test pit distribution map showing Late Iron Age activity

Test pit evidence for Late Iron Age activity

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A major area of growth was to the immediate west and north of the hillfort. Intensive occupation in the west of locality 2 and locality 5 continued and there is a wider but thin spread of material suggesting either working of, or settlement on, low ground further west. The material record in the north of locality 1 may be understated, submerged below Mediaeval earthworks and further west disturbed by quarrying. There is an apparent decline in activity in the south of localities 1 and 4 but overall the picture is of intensified land use in the decades before the Claudian invasion.

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