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 Club member Kevin Joyner finds a Roman grave!  A delighted Kevin is happily going over a spoil heap with his Deus detector

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THE ROPLEY BURIAL

Image by Avinash Kumar

A Roman  burial

The Weekend Wanderers have visited this field at Ropley at least twice a year for the past eight years now. It was a great surprise that this huge field behind the cow shed on the hill turned up some significant archaeology in the form of a late Iron Age/ early Roman cremation burial. 

Past digs on the slopes of this field have turned up occasional Iron Age staters with fairly regular Roman coins finds at the top of the slope where the field levels off. This field is pretty vast though and we had not found any signs of early occupation here before that is until now!

Report from
Jeremey de Montfalcon

The finder of the Ropley Pot Assemblage (as I like to call it) Mr Kevin Joyner turned up at the field sometime in the morning. Certainly after I had arrived. Having set up his Deus metal detector all I know from then on is that he had obviously worked his way up to the top of the ridge, and whilst there, picked up a signal beneath the plough soil which required further investigation.

 

When it became apparent something may be of importance buried there' he then very wisely stopped digging and contacted other wanderers who then proceeded to help excavate the signal until the metal rim of a large bowl started to appear! As this was now considered archaeologically sensitive'  the FLO was then contacted (David Williams) to carry out the primary excavation; the whole of the dig I managed to photograph in detail. 
 
The find was subsequently recorded by David Williams in The Portable Antiquities Scheme Annual Report 2013 on page 24, where it is described as a Late Iron Age copper-alloy bowl from Ropley, Hampshire (SUR-8EA776) found in association with a fragmentary pair ceramic pedestal beakers and cremated human bones; the latter was originally deposited within the bowl.

 

The profile of the vessel is typical of Rose Ash type bowls of Southern Britain, rather than the deeper rounded bowls of northern British tradition. 

This interesting ceramic object above turns out to be one of a pair of pedestal beakers albeit now fragmented through decades of ploughing.
 

It also appears that a ditch of possible medieval origin has been cut through the earlier grave site thereby causing damage to the grave goods. 

 

Article and above photographs kindly sent in by Jeremy De Montfalcon

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PHOTO CREDIT. Portable Antiquities Scheme

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See entry on the PAS database here

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