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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 745: summary

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A Roman cemetery east of Lexden Dyke: archaeological evaluation by trial-trenching at ‘High Trees’, St Clare Road, Colchester, Essex - December 2013
by Ben Holloway
(with contributions from -)

Date report completed: January 2014
Location: ‘High Trees’, St Clare Road, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 9740 2511 (c)
File size: 3,049 kb
Project type: Archaeological evaluation
Significance of the results: **
Keywords: Roman, inhumation burial

Summary. This site is in an area of high archaeological potential. It is within the oppidum of Camulodunum (and east of the Lexden Dyke, one of the oppidum’s lines of defence) and also within the area of the Late Iron Age and early Roman Lexden Cemetery. Four evaluation trenches (total length 60m) were positioned within the footprint of three proposed new buildings and a new access road. There were twenty-one archaeological features: six Roman inhumation graves, Roman and undated ditches, and post-medieval and modern pits. The spacing of the Roman inhumations may indicate that the Lexden Cemetery (previously known only for cremation burials) also contained family burial groups which may have been separated by ditches. Loose prehistoric flints indicate that there was some passing activity here in the Neolithic/Bronze Age. Later features included pits, drains and a dump of building material associated with the house and the cultivation of the gardens. The full extent and nature of the burials and their relationship to the previously known cemetery can only be elaborated by further archaeological work.