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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 437: summary

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Stage 1b archaeological evaluation, Alienated Land Area J2, Colchester Garrison, Colchester, Essex
by Brooks, H, Holloway, B.

Date report completed: October 2006 and August-September 2007
Location: Colchester Garrison, Essex
Map reference(s): TL99102430 (c)
File size: 818KB kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results:
Keywords: Garrison, Roman Road, Oppidum, Roman Droveway, Prehistoric Pottery, roman ditch, roman cemetery, medieval ditch

Summary. Colchester Garrison Alienated Land Area J2 coincides with the southern part of the former Cavalry Barracks on the east side of Butt Road. An archaeological evaluation by nineteen trial-trenches has revealed fragments of an undated but probably Roman agricultural landscape. Previous Garrison Alienated Land excavations and evaluations have identified a north-south droveway linking the main Roman road system to the fields of the oppidum of Camulodunum. This droveway should cross the extreme north-east corner of Area J2, but the presence of an access route meant that a trench could not be placed in the appropriate position to confirm this. The relevance of this droveway to Area J2 is that it appears to act as a boundary between two different areas of land use – Roman cemetery areas to its east and enclosed Roman farmland to its west. Sections of Roman ditches excavated in eight of the trenches are best interpreted as field boundaries belonging to that Roman farmland. The discovery of a few sherds of prehistoric pottery indicates limited activity here in the Late Bronze Age or Iron Age. Post-Roman features included a post-medieval north-south gravelled track (possibly associated with a similar track excavated on Area J (west) in 2004), two medieval or later field ditches, and a large number of modern, Garrison-related foundations and services.