Friday, 25 October 2013

Report: By Supervisor Rowan - What did we find in Trench 3?

Photo 1: Trench 3, the wall parallel with the east wall

Photo 2: Trench 3, the east wall (right), possible oven (centre foreground) and north wall (upper centre)

On the higher ground at the south-east end of the trench were the footings of two stone-built walls, running diagonally across the trench and probably joining at a corner just outside the edge of excavation (Photo 2). These were built of medium-sized stones, with white clay possibly used as a bonding material, and appeared to be part of one building. A brown clay-silt deposit lay between and partially over the walls, with two small areas of stone and pea-grit surfacing set into hollows in the top of the deposit. The ‘Venus’ sherd of Samian pottery came from one of these surface areas. A deposit of burnt clay overlying a charcoal layer was located against the west side of the eastern wall of the building, cut into the clay-silt surface, and could represent the remains of a clay oven. This activity seemed to post-date the demolition of the building. An orange clay layer found below the clay-silt deposit could be remains of an earlier floor surface associated with the building.

A further possible wall was located to the east of, and parallel with, the eastern wall. This had a different construction style, being narrower, with small, neatly set stones forming a flat surface, and a row of larger stones along the eastern side (Photo 1). The wall was covered by a line of pinkish-red clay with burnt timbers to either side, suggesting this structure had stone footings and clay and timber walls. The full extent of this wall has not yet been revealed, and it is unclear if it is later in date than the building to the west. A linear gully or slot (not yet investigated) ran parallel to this wall, and a further vertical-sided linear cut ran off it at a right angle.

In the north-west part of the trench was a possible cobbled surface; and a second line of pinkish clay, which could be similar to that overlying the walls to the south-east.

Various possible cut features were observed cut into all of the deposits, suggesting there was prolonged, intensive occupation in this part of the site.

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