The excavation at Buckley’s Field uncovered a range of archaeological deposits, primarily of Romano-British date, which have been subdivided into sixteen ‘Phases’. Each phase describes a broad chronological period of particualr activitis on the site; these can be summarised as follows:


Phase Description
2Pre-Roman buried soil
3Pre- Roman features
4Mid-late 1st century buried land surface and cut features
5Late 1st century cultivation deposits and surfaces (Trench 1)
6Late 1st – early 2nd century road construction (Trench 1)
7Early-mid-2nd century structures and pits
8Mid-late 2nd century reorganisation of building plot
9Midden deposit (Trench 12)
10Late 2nd – 3rd century cut features (Trench 1)
11Early 3rd century burnt layer (Trench 1)
12Cleaning layers (All Trenches)
141960’s John Bestwick Trench (Buckley’s Field)
16Redeposited clay and topsoil (Trench 9)

For a detailed definition of archaeological phases follow this link: 

Click on the individual sectiond below to read deatilaed descriptions of each phase.

NOTE: In each phase, the deposits are referred to by their deposit (or ‘context’) numbers. Each number relates to a single event, such as the filling of a pit or the laying of a surface (a positive feature), or the action of digging a pit or ditch (known as a negative feature, or ‘cut’). Positive features are represented in the text by numbers in rounded brackets (e.g. (101), (1258) etc), negative features are shown in square brackets (e.g. [1259], [1221] etc).

The numbers are taken from a register on site in sequence so that every event has a unique number to identify it. The numbers are therefore simply an identifier- they do not have any special significance. As an example, we can imagine how a rubbish pit might be formed; a pit is first excavated to make a hole; this is context [1]. Kitchen waste is then thrown into the base of the pit containing food waste, bits of broken pottery and so on; this is context (2). More rubbish could be thrown into the pit over time, maybe from different sources such as bedding straw from a stable, ash or charcoal from a fire, and these would each be given a new number. By recording each deposit with a unique number, we can separate the artefacts out and record precisely where they came from which allows us not only to date the deposits, but to comment on such factors such as diet, land use, industry, animal husbandry etc.

On the Community Dig site, all context numbers begin with the trench number, so the deposits in Trench 1 start at 100, Trench 2 starts at 200, and so on. Deposits in Trench 12 start from 1200. 

In some instances, single deposits have been given more than one number, primarily where the same deposit has been excavated more than once in different locations. These deposits are shown with an ‘=’ sign and can be considered as a single entity.

Phase 1: Natural Deposits

Phase 2: Pre-Roman Buried Soil

Phase 3: Possible Pre-Roman Deposits

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

Phase 5: Late 1st century cultivation deposits and surfaces

Phase 6: Road construction (late 1st – early 2nd century)