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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 207: summary

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An archaeological evaluation by trial-trenching on Areas DR, G, M, P, Q, R, RO, S and P at Colchester Garrison PFI site, Colchester, Essex: May-September 2002
by Brooks, H

Date report completed: 10/09/2002
Location: Garrison, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL99702320
File size: 3384 kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results: * *
Keywords: Bronze Age, Iron Age, oppidum, cropmarks, trackway/droveway, prehistoric, round-house, lithics, small finds, coins, Neolithic

Summary. Seventy-nine trenches were excavated in the above areas. In total, 595 archaeological contexts were excavated or examined. These were principally topsoils, subsoils and dumped soils (41% of all contexts), followed by natural or undated features (28.9% and 15.3% respectively). Significant archaeological remains (prehistoric and LIA/Roman) accounted for 15% of all contexts. There were smaller numbers of modern and post-medieval features, modern footings and services (9.9%). The state of preservation of archaeological deposits was generally poor, with truncation by ploughing evident everywhere. Due to the largely rural character of most of the area reported on here, there was relatively little damage from services or modern trenching (in parts of Areas RO and S). Significant archaeological features consisted of a LBA/EIA occupation site with associated pits, elements of an EIA/MIA landscape, and the oppidum fields and trackways (mainly known because of cropmarks, but confirmed by the current work). Additionally, there was a higher level of small-scale and residual prehistoric material than in other Garrison areas. In total, the proportion of significant archaeological material was 15% of all contexts. There was a much lower level of Roman activity here than elsewhere at the Garrison, reflecting the distance from the Roman town and its cemeteries. Likewise, the absence of Anglo-Saxon and medieval material can be explained in the same way. Trenching work continues in adjacent areas.