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GATCOMBE (“Iscalis”) Somerset, England.

A small Romano-British town of ca. 6.4 ha, 6.4 km SW of Bristol. The earliest occupation is mid-1st c. A.D., and both 2d c. timber buildings and early 3d c. cremations have been recovered. The walled town was built in the late 3d c. and occupation continued into the 5th c.

The town is surrounded by a wall almost S m wide, the thickest in Roman Britain. Excavations, concentrated in the NE quarter, have revealed more than a dozen buildings which all seem to have been stores or workshops. At least three of the largest buildings have been identified as bakeries. The purpose of the town has not yet been established, but it may have been related to the extensive potteries believed to have been situated on the Somerset Levels in the late 3d and 4th c.


E. K. Tratman, “Some Ideas on the Roman Roads in Bristol and North Somerset,” Proc. Univ. of Bristol Spelaeological Soc. 9 (1967) 173-75; B. Cunliffe, “Excavations at Gatcombe, Somerset, in 1965 and 1966,” ibid. 11 (1967) 125-60MPI; K. Branigan, “The North-East Defences of Roman Gatcombe,” Proc. Somerset Archaeol. and Nat. Hist. Soc. 112 (1968) 40-53; id., Roman Gatcombe (1969); id., The Romans in the Bristol Area (1969); id., “Gatcombe,” Current Archaeology 25 (1971)PI.


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