This is the story of archaeology, aggregates and the Romans on the Don.

Since 1984 aggregates companies have funded archaeological excavations on Iron Age and Romano-British sites at ten quarries in the Doncaster district. As a result, we now know much more about life in the region around the time the Romans arrived here in the 50s AD, about 10 years after they invaded Britain for Emperor Claudius in 43 AD. 

  Roman soldiers by a settlement and farmland

When the Roman army first marched north to the River Don, they found a landscape full of people. Doncaster had long been settled by families farming land divided into large fields and living in timber round houses. The Romans’ impact was to be massive. They built forts and roads, as they always did when taking control of new territories. Perhaps their most enduring legacy was Doncaster itself, which grew up around the fort of Danum, named after the River Don. Pottery kilns were set up south of the town and an economy based on coins was introduced for the first time. New forms of domestic architecture were adopted by many families, who replaced their round houses with rectangular ones. Some people even built heated bath-houses. 

Excavations at aggregates quarries have provided a view of some of these changes and told us about the lives of people who lived in Doncaster before and after the Romans arrived.

Iron Age
The Iron Age is is the archaeological period that begins when iron was first used to make tools, approximately 800 years before the Romans conquered Britain, and ends with that conquest.

For further information, please contact us:

  • tel: 0114 273 6354
  • address: South Yorkshire Archaeology Service, Howden House, 1 Union Street, Sheffield, S1 2SH
Last updated: 17 March 2021 13:08:12

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