July 2007

It feels like the season has at finally got underway with plenty of fine weather, digging and finds.Many members have been taking part in the excavation during July and a very successful open day has been held as part of the CBA National Archaeology Week, which attracted over 20 visitors.

Digging in trench 7

Working hard in trench 7 extension

The drier weather meant that at last we could remove the backfill from the tessellated pavement and the threshold tiles at the entrance to the central room. Several large flint stones, cut into rectangular blocks may be part of the doorway structure. Plenty of painted wall plaster in vivid colours is still appearing.

Finds from the corridor area include a fragment of glossy black pottery with a yellow raised slip decoration and rouletting, probably imported. Also a third century coin in good condition showing the Emperor Constantine II with, on the reverse, ‘VOT X’ meaning that it was minted to celebrate his first 10 years as Emperor and that he expected at least another 10 years!

Decorated pottery sherd

Black pottery with a yellow raised slip decoration and rouletting

Further work on the ditch (trench 9) continues to produce an interesting selection of finds including a 3rd century coin showing an emperor's head with a ‘radiate’ headdress, a selection of animal bones and two small sherds of glass from a table vessel.

We do not find many complete roof tiles so perhaps the most interesting find was aninbrex with one end section intact. The pale mortar can be seen where the tile in the row above overlapped it. Broken pieces of imbrex are very common on the site but very few are as complete.For a brief explanation of Roman roof construction see - http://www.newarchaeology.com/articles/romanrooftile.php

Imbrex

Imbrex with intact end section

The flint gravel path uncovered in the north wall to ditch section (see June diary) has been excavated further and appears to be of substantial construction consisting of several layers of different gravels. Although the path runs adjacent to the wall of the villa it does not appear at present to be on a parallel alignment with the wall.

The excavation is run by experienced archaeologists, and diggers of all levels of experience and ages are welcome, so if you would like to get involved please contact us.

by Steve Gibson