A University of Exeter archaeologist’s research has uncovered the largest Roman settlement ever found in Devon. The discovery could force us to rewrite the history of the Romans in Britain. The discovery of a large Roman Settlement in Devon was the result of a chance metal detecting coin find. Danielle Wootton, the Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and archaeologist at the University of Exeter was called on to investigate further.
Two metal detectorists discovered nearly a hundred Roman coins in a series of fields a several miles west of Exeter. This would not be unusual in other parts of Britain but it has always been thought that Roman influence never made it this far into Devon as there is little evidence of Romans in the South West Peninsula of Britain. After the results of a geophysical survey Wootton was astonished to find evidence of a huge settlement including roundhouses, quarry pits and track ways. The site covers at least thirteen fields and is the first of its kind for the county.