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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 483: summary

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An archaeological evaluation of the proposed extension to the ‘south site' buildings at the Sixth Form College, North Hill, Colchester, Essex - May 2008
by Ben Holloway and Howard Brooks

Date report completed: 18.06.08
Location: Sixth Form College, North Hill, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL9925525320 (c)
File size: 441 kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Roman, building, demolition, street

Summary. An evaluation by three trenches has identified the uppermost significant archaeological horizon of Roman date on the site of the proposed extension to the ‘south site' buildings at the Sixth Form College. A north-south profile was reconstructed using the results from all the trenches, and it became apparent that the Roman levels showed no clear evidence of terracing but instead broadly reflect the natural north-south slope of the land today. The finds from the evaluation are dominated by fragments of Roman brick and tile, with lesser quantities of mortar, opus signinum, and tesserae. This material must be derived from the demolition of Roman buildings, and specifically of the Roman building first discovered in 1865 and investigated further in 1910 when the Technical College was constructed. Although two of the trenches were cut within the footprint of this Roman building, none of its foundations or floors were seen, mainly because the evaluation trenches were not sufficiently deep. The highest Roman deposits were rubbly or mortary layers dating to the early-mid 3rd to 4th century, when the Roman building was probably demolished. The Roman deposits are sealed by a deep late medieval or post-medieval topsoil, which is itself sealed by soils dumped during the 1980s landscaping.