The Project

Removing a miniature pot from the shrine at Claydon Pike
Removing a miniature pot from the shrine at Claydon Pike

The Cotswold Water Park project is a landscape study, focusing on an area of low-lying Thames gravel terraces in the hinterland of the Roman town of Corinium (Cirencester).

We are looking in detail at a group of sites, most of which we excavated in advance of gravel quarrying in the late 1970s and 1980s (Key Project Sites). These formed part of an intensive archaeological research programme in the region, which found a number of rural settlement sites ranging in date from the middle Iron Age (c 300 BC) to the very end of the Roman period (around AD 410). This research programme was directed by David Miles and Simon Palmer. Most of the sites now lie within the eastern and western Cotswold Water Parks.

Our study will also be drawing on evidence from other sites in the area, in order to understand how the whole rural landscape evolved and changed during this period of time. We will be looking at aspects of its social, political and economic development, with particular emphasis on cultural interaction and transformation. In order to do this, the project team covers a wide range of specialist study areas.

The project is funded by English Heritage and many of the objects from the sites will soon be on display in the Corinium Museum at Cirencester.

The ‘Eagle in the landscape’ title is based around an eagle sculpture found at one of the key sites (Somerford Keynes), which was probably associated with a statue of the Roman god Jupiter. The eagle had particular associations with imperial Roman power, and is therefore linked with one of the key aims of this project, which is to examine the impact and influence of the Romans upon the landscape around Cirencester.


The Project
The Sites
Our Aims
Post Excavation?
Current Work
Project Design
Who We Are
Puzzle Corner