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Bede describes the invasion of the island in 686 (noting that Bede was writing fifty years later, and some of his dates are considered approximate) by Caedwalla, a Wessex King.He writes: "After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place in their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island.
One plough-damaged barrow on Gallibury Down was excavated during 1979-80 and dated to between 1600-1400 BCE.According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic and his son Cynric conquered the island in 530.The Chronicle states that after Cerdic died in 534, the island was given to his nephews Stuf and Wihtgar.The Romans built no towns or roads on the island, but it became an agricultural centre, and at least seven Roman villas are known.When fully developed around 300 AD, Brading was probably the largest on the Island, being a courtyard villa with impressive mosaics, suggesting a good income was being made from the agricultural produce of the island.At Brading Villa a field system can be seen near Brading Down; the remains associated with the villa can be seen as low banks.
The chalk downland was cultivated in prehistoric and Roman times because the light chalk soil was not too difficult to plough.
The first inhabitants are assumed to have been hunter-gatherers migrating by land during the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) period, as the ice age began to recede and the climate improved.
The island has no visible Paleolithic or Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) sites, but flints from these periods have been found and are on display at Carisbrooke Castle.
When he returned to Mercia the island reverted to paganism.
Arwald was its last Jutish King and the last pagan king in Anglo-Saxon England until the Vikings.
However three of the Roman villa sites have also produced late Iron Age pottery, which suggests a continuity of occupation.