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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1587: summary

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The Colchester-to-Gosbecks Roman road: archaeological investigations at 60 Creffield Road, Colchester Essex CO3 3HY:December 2019-July 2021
by Laura Pooley
(with contributions from Lisa Gray, Dr Matthew Loughton, Megan Seehra, Alec Wade & Adam Wightmanre)

Date report completed: January 2022
Location: 60 Creffield Road, Colchester Essex CO3 3HY
Map reference(s): TL 98702 24712 (c)
File size: 41114 kb
Project type: Excavation
Significance of the results:
Keywords: Creffield Road Colchester

Summary. An archaeological evaluation, excavation and two phases of monitoring took place at 60 Creffield Road, Colchester, Essex between December 2019 and July 2021 during the redevelopment of the site. The Colchester-to-Gosbecks Roman road was projected to run through the site which is also located within a significant Roman burial area.

Archaeological investigations identified the Colchester-to-Gosbecks Roman road aligned northeast to southwest across the development site. Phase 1 of the road, dating to the early Roman period, consisted of four ditches set out as two pairs, defining narrower areas or footways, each just over 2m wide, on either side of a central carriageway which was about 7m across. In Phase 2, probably dating from the early 2nd century, the carriageway was widened to c 10m with the addition of a metalled surface and two new roadside ditches. Phases of metalling show that the carriageway was being maintained and repaired, with evidence suggesting that it was in use until the late 4th century when a small number of gullies had been cut into the surface.

To the east of the road was a series of pits dating from the mid/late 1st to the 2nd century. One of the pits was scorched around the edges and base, and produced a small quantity of cremated human bone along with burnt foodstuffs, and probably represents the remains of a pyre. The edges of another three pits were also slightly scorched and contained the cremated/burnt remains of sheep/goat and chicken, and are likely cooking pits for feasting associated with the burial ritual.

A large post-medieval/modern linear or quarry pit was also excavated along with a few gullies and pits of a similar date.