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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 203: summary

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An archaeological evaluation by trial-trenching on Areas E and F at Colchester Garrison PFI site, Colchester, Essex: May-June 2002
by Brooks, H
(with contributions from Benfield, S; Crummy, N; Fryer, V; Lavender, N; Martingell, H.)

Date report completed: 30/07/2002
Location: Garrison, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL99002320
File size: 1748 kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results: * *
Keywords: Bronze Age, Iron Age, post-medieval, flint, prehistoric pottery, prehistoric field ditches, Roman ditch, cropmarks, oppidum, Roman pit, trackway/droveway

Summary. Ten trenches were excavated in Area E and 33 in Area F. The main findings are: There were a few isolated, probably prehistoric pits, mainly dated by single sherds of pottery. These confirm earlier results from Area C, indicating that early prehistoric activity is very thinly spread on the site, but two points of interest are a possible Bronze Age pit with burnt flints in Trench F7 and a Middle Bronze Age bucket urn fragment from Trench E2 (possibly from a disturbed burial). Late Iron Age and Roman field-ditches excavated in Trenches F1 F4, F11-F12 and F27-F28 are so close in position and alignment that there is no doubt that they are the same as the cropmark ditches. Therefore the Areas E/F evaluation has confirmed the existence of (and added dated details to) the rectilinear field-system previously seen as cropmarks east of the Kirkee McMunn Barracks. Further, the evidence from field-ditches excavated at Kirkee McMunn Barracks in 1994 supplemented by the 2002 evaluation material clarifies the dating of a field- and trackway system originating in the late Iron Age period and continuinig in use in the early Roman period. LIA or Roman settlement evidence is confined to a single Roman pit in Trench F28, so the evaluation area seems to lie slightly away from a principal settlement focus. Trenching work continues in adjacent areas.