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The University of Southampton
ArchaeologyPart of Humanities

Research project: Landscape archaeology of Hayton, East Yorkshire - Dormant - Dormant

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In 1975 Stephen Johnson excavated at the Roman fort at Hayton (SE 816454) which had been identified through aerial photography in the previous year. His small scale excavations established that the fort had been occupied in the early Flavian period but also produced evidence of early Anglo-Saxon occupation (Johnson, 1975).

Aerial photography identified the site in East Yorkshire
The Hayton site

Since Johnson's excavations there has been no further archaeological excavation at Hayton but for many years the village has received considerable attention from metal-detector enthusiasts. Their activity suggests that there was a considerable concentration of Roman activity dispersed around the fort. In recent years the finds from several of their collections have been catalogued by Bryan Sitch as part of a long term research programme which has also involved periodic field walking in the area, especially in areas beside the A1079 which have seen intensive metal-detecting (Please refer to OS MAP of the area, as A1079 runs along the course of the Roman Road). The known metal-detector finds include items of Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon metalwork in addition to substantial numbers of Roman coins and other objects. It is hoped that a systematic study of this material will thus provide a clearer understanding of the development of the area. At the same time other parts of the area had also been examined by a field walking team organised by Peter Halkon who had also been able to undertake further aerial photographic reconnaissance in the area to fill out detail in the plots previously prepared by the RCHME (Please refer to Aerial Photograph of Hayton, Roman Fort and (Johnson, 1975).

As a result of local information a concentration of Roman tile was located after deep ploughing beside Burnby Lane about 1 km north-east of the fort in March 1993. A detailed field survey organised by Peter Halkon mapped the distribution of the surface scatter and located the site of a Roman hypocaust. A preliminary geophysical survey was subsequently undertaken by David Kenyon and this confirmed the presence of a raft of rubble together with several possible ditches (Kenyon,1994). It was against this background that it was decided to initiate a new series of trial excavations in 1995 with the primary objective of investigating the newly discovered Roman building which was evidently threatened by erosion through agricultural activity. This excavation was designed to be the first in a series integrated with further fieldwork which aimed to provide additional information about the development of the landscape in the Hayton area.

Related research groups

Archaeological Prospection Service of Southampton (APSS)
Classical and historical archaeology
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