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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 404: summary

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Stage 1b archaeological evaluation, Alienated Land Area S2 (south), Colchester Garrison, Colchester, Essex: January 2007
by Brooks, H; Holloway, B
(with contributions from Benfield, S; Sealey, P)

Date report completed: 01/02/2007
Location: Garrison, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL99452200
File size: 1228 kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Iron Age, medieval, post-medieval, Roman ditch, medieval ditch, Iron Age and Roman field system, domestic, prehistoric pottery, Roman pottery, Victorian glass, peg-tile, slag

Summary. Evaluation on a site to the south of the Roman Way Camp and west of the Berechurch Dyke revealed a number of prehistoric, Roman and post medieval ditches. The ditches are on three different alignments, and appear to represent fragments of three distinct landscapes. The first field system (dating to the Early or Middle Iron Age) was overlaid by a later (Late Iron Age or Roman) field system which is almost certainly to be associated with the early years of the oppidum of Camulodunum, one of the defensive lines of which (Berechurch Dyke) runs along the edge of Area S2 (south). Later, a third field system is evidenced by a series of post medieval ditches. The ditches representing the Iron Age and Roman field systems are mainly to be seen on the western and eastern edges of the evaluation site, the central part of the evaluation site apparently being a blank in archaeological terms. Whether this is a real or just an apparent absence of field ditches of those periods is difficult to say. The other excavated features, ie a small number of pits and post holes, are more apparent on the eastern side of the evaluation site, where the post-holes may represent structures such as buildings or fences which are not fully visible in the evaluation trenches, and the pits may represent domestic activity on or around those buildings or structures.