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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 02: summary

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An archaeological evaluation of the line of the Colchester Northern Approach Road. Stage 1: Turner Road to Boxted Road, Colchester, Essex - January-March 1997
by Benfield, S

Date report completed: May 1997
Location: Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s):
File size: 2,306 kb
Project type: Archaeological evaluation
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Iron Age, trackway/droveway, Roman, ditch, settlement, prehistoric, flint

Summary. The evaluation revealed two areas of significant archaeology of the late Iron Age and early Roman periods, both on the southern section of the new line between Turner Road and Mill Road. To the west of the Colchester General Hospital, a ditch dating to early Roman period and probably close to a settlement area of the same date was located just below the modern topsoil. There is a more substantial concentration of features of late Iron Age to early Roman date along the whole of the section of the new road passing through the grounds of Turner Village Hospital. These consist of the partly truncated remains of several ditches together with possible other smaller features, which could provisionally be interpreted as a ditched trackway leading toward a settlement site or focus situated on the northern part of this area. The archaeological features survive at a depth of about 0.7m below present ground level at the northern end of this area and about 1.0m on the central and southern parts. They are directly sealed by modern redeposited layers probably resulting from the insertion of two major drains just to the west of the evaluation trench line. These late Iron Age/early Roman features are important not only of themselves but form part of a larger archaeological landscape which includes the extensive Roman cremation cemetery (with about 100 known burials) and Roman road or trackway just to the south on Turner Rise. There is no evidence for any significant archaeology on the section of the new road line between Mill Road and Boxted Road.