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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 329: summary

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An archaeological evaluation on Kell Field, Petches Yew Farm, Finchingfield, Essex: June-July 2005
by Benfield, S

Date report completed: 07/07/2006
Location: Finchingfield, Essex
Map reference(s): TL70063060, TL693302
File size: 8258 kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Iron Age, ceramic building materials, Roman building, opus signinum, wooden feature, tessellated pavement, hypocaust, Roman ditch, Roman pottery, prehistoric pottery

Summary. An archaeological evaluation by trial-trenching was carried out on Kell Field, Finchingfield, in response to the planned construction of a reservoir. Initially, five evaluation trenches were machine-excavated. Later, a sixth evaluation trench was excavated on another area of the site to evaluate an alternative location. A concentration of Roman flue tiles and roof tiles was observed on the field surface in the south-east part of the site. This proved to be the site of a Roman building with a mortared flint foundation. A spread of Roman demolition material, adjacent to the wall foundation and incorporating flue tiles and opus signinum mortar, may be filling the lowered area of a hypocaust base. The spread of Roman tiles and an absence of archaeological features east of the identified building probably indicates the site of another Roman building although probably of timber construction. A disturbed line of tile and flint nodules within this area could represent a wall line. One or two tile tessera cubes indicate a tessellated floor. Across the whole site were numerous ditches which suggest a long period of occupation, it is clear that the ditches are primarily of Roman date, and represent compounds around settlement rather than field ditches. Pottery from the ditches, spans the Roman period, and sherds of Middle Iron Age and Late Iron Age date demonstrate later prehistoric settlement on the site.