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Roman Roadside Cemetery Unearthed at Ipplepen

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Devon-Roman-CemeteryEXETER, ENGLAND—Fifteen skeletons were recovered from a roadside cemetery at a Romano-British settlement by volunteers, students, and archaeologists from the University of Exeter. The site was discovered by metal detectorists who notified England’s Portable Antiquities Scheme. Research has shown that one of the skeletons dates to some 250 to 350 years after the Roman period. Additional research will try to determine when the roadside cemetery first came into use, and if the people buried there grew up in the region. “As the excavation progressed, it became clear that we were dealing with the largest Romano-British cemetery discovered in Devon and that it had huge potential to develop our understanding of settlements and how people lived in the southwest 2,000 years ago. Then the radiocarbon date of A.D. 655-765 brought even further revelations; everyone was very surprised. It suggests continuation of the settlement after the Roman period and shows that life carried on at Ipplepen rather than falling out of use,” said Danielle Wootton, Devon Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, based at the University of Exeter. For an unusual glimpse of life in this period, see "Artifact: Romano-British Brooch."

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