Berryfields : Iron Age Settlement and a Roman Bridge, Fieldsystem and settlement along Akeman Street nearFleet Marston, Buckinghamshire Paperback / softback
Part of the Oxford Archaeology Monograph series
Paperback / softback
Excavations carried out by Oxford Archaeology at Berryfields to the north-west of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire uncovered the remains of a middle Iron Age settlement and the agricultural hinterland of the nucleated Roman settlement of Fleet Marston, situated on the major Roman road of Akeman Street. This volume describes the results of the fieldwork and analysis of an exceptional range of the artefactual and environmental evidence, including timber piles, which supported a bridge that carried the Roman road over the River Thame, and a wooden basket, chickens' eggs and many other objects ritually deposited into a waterlogged pit in the late Roman period.
In addition, the volume presents evidence for a long-lived late prehistoric territorial boundary, malting and brewing and other roadside trades and crafts, as well as funerary activity, comprising roadside burials and a possible pyre site.
It also reveals the importance of livestock, especially horses, in the middle Iron Age and Roman economies. Crucially, the volume draws on the findings to shed light on the character of Roman Fleet Marston, which hitherto has been known only from chance finds.
Evidence from Berryfields and other sites in the area shows that over time, Fleet Marston found itself at the intersection of several routeways that took travellers into the countryside and on to major towns.
Its position at this important crossroads, together with hundreds of coins and other finds, potentially identifies the settlement as a market-place or administrative centre with extensive trade connections, a role that would be continued in Aylesbury in the medieval period and to the present day.