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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 3: summary

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St Mary's hospital, Colchester, Essex: archaeological evaluation - May 1997
by Brooks, H
(with contributions from Cott, PJ)

Date report completed: July 1997
Location: St Mary's hospital, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s):
File size: 1,3245 kb
Project type: Archaeological evaluation, geophysical survey
Significance of the results: **
Keywords: Roman, building, burial, cemetery, brick, tile, prehistoric, flint, pottery, lava quern, copper objects, geophysical survey, ceramic lamp

Summary. An evaluation has revealed archaeological deposits over most of a site on which there are records of many previous archaeological discoveries, principally Roman buildings and burials. The building numbers assigned to those remains in the Desk-Based Assessment (Chadwick 1997) are repeated here. The 1997 evaluation demonstrated that there are stratified Roman remains on the south edge of the site (trenches 10, 14, 16). These are close to the previously known Building 3, and may be associated with it. Because of modern truncation, these remains now lie very close to modern ground level. In the central part of the site deposits containing burnt daub provide evidence for a burnt structure dated before AD 120, and therefore possibly Boudiccan (trenches 7, 6). This burnt debris lies to the east of the previously recorded building 2. On the northern edge of the site, in the vicinity of the temple-like building 1, another stone structure was discovered (trench 2). A single inhumation burial (probably later Roman) found on the eastern edge of the site (trench 11) ties in with the previous discoveries of burials on the hospital site - known collectively as the "Union Cemetery" (Crummy CAR 6). There were other minor discoveries such as gravelled surfaces (trenches 7, 11), and Roman cut features (trenches 13, 1, 3). Pre-Roman remains were confined to two prehistoric struck flints and a single sherd of possibly prehistoric pottery. There were no significant post-Roman deposits or finds. Roman finds were abundant, especially brick/tile and pottery. These bear witness to buildings on the site, as does the burnt daub. Small finds included lava quern, bone pins, pottery counters, a hone, and a fragment of stylus.