Central Lincolnshire Iron Age Settlement Sites with Archaeological Project Services

Our Archaeological Project Services are currently involved in two excavations in Lincolnshire. Both telling us a story of life before the Romans.

Starting with an interesting site which lies on the outskirts of Sleaford…..

APS are currently excavating a significant Iron Age complex. The site centres on a rectangular enclosure, although we only have three sides exposed, with the remains of a central roundhouse. Adjacent to this are a series of smaller rectangular enclosures which may represent paddocks. Pottery recovered from the site suggests a date in the Middle Iron Age (450-100 BC).

Below picture: Aerial view of the site – enclosures can be made out in both of the stripped areas.

Below picture: Vertical view of the main settlement enclosure – the roundhouse remains can be seen in the upper central part of the photograph.

There are several known Middle Iron Age enclosures scattered around Sleaford, but this is the first to be excavated in its (almost) entirety. The number is interesting, particularly as they virtually disappeared prior to the Iron Age tribal centre and an important mint, centred on Old Place was established. Hopefully, we will be able to uncover some clues as to why this happened and what made Sleaford so important as a centre prior to the Roman invasion.

As Sleaford was becoming this regional centre of the Coritani (the local Iron Age tribe) our second site was in the process of coming into being. Located a few miles south of Lincoln, this site is also a complete settlement along with a central roundhouse and clues to the day-to-day activities of its inhabitants.

Below pictureAll four sides of the enclosure are visible with the round(ish)house just below the centre of the photograph

The evidence points to this being an agricultural settlement, perhaps specialising in crop production as a rather nice beehive quern was discovered only a few weeks ago. One interesting feature emerging from this site, as well as the Sleaford one, is that both were very short-lived settlements.  In the case of this example, it was replaced by a larger settlement enclosure that we will be excavating in the near future and has multiple enclosures superimposed on each other which may indicate it was in use over a longer period of time.

The aerial views of both sites may not be to everyone’s taste but we have included them here to highlight our use of drones in archaeology with Jonathon Smith who has become our official licenced pilot. We hope to expand our use of drones to assist with all our archaeology projects as well as building recording.

Finally, both of these sites have been a wonderful introduction to field archaeology for our trainees, both from the Historic Environment Skills https://www.heritagelincolnshire.org/learn-with-us/historic-environment-skills and our own trainee recruits as they can see the whole site unfolding before their eyes.

Here are some of the finds that we have discovered so far:

Our Digital Heritage Engagement trainee, Kate has been working with some of the finds to create them digitally for people to interact with them.


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