Iron Age findings help build picture

AN IRON Age community discovered in the Daventry district has been described as of “regional, if not national importance”.

New investigations at the site, which is located at Daventry International Railfreight Terminal (DIRFT), have given a greater insight into what happened at the 2,000-year-old community.

The findings, including evidence of settlement such as hut circles, will be discussed at the Community Landscape Archaeology Survey Project (CLASP) annual meeting on Monday (September 12).

CLASP project co-ordinator Dave Hayward said: “The archaeological investigations at the site carried out for these later phases, together with the work done by Northamptonshire Archaeology for the original phase, have revealed significant previously unknown archaeological features.

“These finds, which have been described overall as of regional, if not national importance, have provided an insight into a large Iron Age community that was sited on lower ground at the possible interface between three tribes.”

“At present the reason for this site being here is not known but it may well have been for trading between the tribes.

“If this was an early trading area then it is quite amazing that 2,000 years later another major trading area, DIRFT, again of wide significance, has been born in the same area.

“The information obtained from the work at DIRFT will enable CLASP members to investigate and understand the local archaeological landscape far better.”

The Iron Age in Europe took place between 1200 BC and 400 AD. The early period of the age is characterised by the widespread use of iron and steel.

The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society including differing agricultural practices.

The CLASP annual meeting will be held at Harpole Bowls Club at 7.30pm on Monday. Admission to the meeting is free and there will be various exhibitions of work undertaken in the local area.

The principal speaker will be Laurie Coleman, from Cotswold Archaeology, who will talk on his work investigating the archaeology at Kilsby for the development of later phases at DIRFT.

CLASP archaeological director Stephen Young will also give an update on activities during the past year.