Phase 4: Mid-late 1st century buried land surface and cut features

Phase 4 deposits were recorded in Trenches 1 and 12. In Trench 1 they were characterised by a thin buried soil overlying the natural sand, sealed by a dense black organic layer. The soil layer was a dark brown silty sand which varied in thickness from 20mm to 0.17m across the trench, recorded variously as contexts (111), (130), (170) and (183) where it was intermittently visible at the base of the section (Figure 21). The only artefactual material in this layer was found in the central and western portions of the trench (recorded as Context (183)), from which samian pottery dated to between 75 and 100 AD and thirty fragments of animal bone (predominantly cattle) were recovered.

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Figure 21: Phase 4 Contexts, Trench 1 (Click to enlarge)

The buried soil was sealed by a thin layer of black, humic silt between 20 and 30mm thick- context (142). This extended 5m into the trench from its eastern end, and has been interpreted as a buried turf-line (Figure 22). This is visible in the photograph as a fine black layer at the base of the section.

Phase 4 Trench 1 detail
Figure 22: Buried turf layer (142), Trench 1

In Trench 12 two small cut features can be ascribed to this phase: Pit [1276]/(1275) and Pit [1291]/(1290), Figure 23.

Pit [1276] was located at the northern end of the trench, and was sub-oval in plan. The profile of the cut was concave, approximately 0.2m deep and 0.95m in diameter. The fill (1275) was a mid-brown sandy loam which contained fragments of non-diagnostic building material, and coarse brick fragments.

Phase 4 features, Trench 12
Figure 23: Phase 4 features, Trench 12

Pit [1291] was half exposed in section, but appeared to be oval in plan. The cut was also 0.95m in diameter, and 0.15m deep. The pit is visible in Figure 24 as a depression at the base of the section on the left side of the picture. The fill, context (1290) was a grey silty sand which was found to contain fragments of coarseware pottery datable to the late 1st - early 2nd century.

Figure 24: Pit [1291]


These pits were sealed by cultivation deposits which had continued to develop during the early 2nd century (Phase 7).

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