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STONEA ROMAN SETTLEMENT

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A Romano-British settlement site at Stonea, excavated in 1980-85. Some evidence was found for Late Iron Age/early Roman activity, but the settlement itself appears to have been essentially a new foundation of circa 130-150AD. Within the excavated area, the settlement divided into two distinct zones. The western half was dominated by a substantial rectangular building, the strong foundations of which suggest some height - at least three storeys are proposed. The building featured a hypocaust, and had walls decorated with painted plaster; designs included red and white panels, landscapes and figured scenes, and other geometric motifs plus imitation marbling. Architectural fragments include abundant tile and window glass. The eastern half comprised a settlement of timber buildings arranged on a gridded street pattern. The substantial building and its complex seems to have ceased to function in the early 3rd century AD, while the settlement inthe eastern half continued, but with a gradual reduction in size and indications of less control over its layout and functions. Activity certainly continued well into the late 4th century, and the excavators suggest the possibility that there was no hiatus in occupation between the late Roman period and the establishment of an Anglo-Saxon settlement on the site. The Roman site was also connected by a curving gravel road to the nearby temple site.

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