The fourth season of the Exeter University and community archaeology fieldschool at Ipplepen has been a great success. Over thirty students and forty-nine volunteers and members of the local community took part in the excavation. In addition over 500 people visited the dig ‘hub’ in the village centre and 930 came to the excavation open day that was held during the Festival of British Archaeology.
This year the excavation has been directed by Prof. Stephen Rippon and has continued to investigate the Roman road and cemetery adjacent to it. In addition, two new evaluation trenches were opened to further test the nature of Iron Age and Romano-British occupation across the site. The Roman road has been shown to have had four phases of construction. Previous work has identified wheel-ruts and repaired potholes, so it is clearly a long-lived feature within the landscape. This year’s excavation found a sherd of residual mid-1st century AD southern-Gaulish amphora in the makeup layer of the third phase of road. This adds to the evidence for early Roman material at the site, although the coin and ceramic evidence span almost the entire period of Roman rule.
We look forward to reporting on future seasons on site and to the results of post-excavation analysis.
The Ipplepen Fieldschool is supported by the University of Exeter, the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, the Association for Roman Archaeology, Devon County Council, Teignbridge District Council, the community of Ipplepen, public donations and a generous legacy donation from the late Professor Mick Aston.
The University has launched a new website, which provides more information about the site: http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/archaeology/research/projects/ipplepen/