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An archaeological evaluation and subsequent excavation were conducted by Pre-Construct Archaeology Limited at ‘Southern Slopes’, on land at Rectory Close, Colchester (land west of the Northern Approach Road). The work was commissioned by Duncan Hawkins of CgMs Consulting on behalf of George Wimpey East Anglia Ltd. The archaeological works were undertaken between 06/11/03 and 19/12/03.
During the evaluation archaeological features of probably prehistoric, Iron Age/Roman date were recognised in 7 of the 15 trenches, with a particular concentration in Trenches 7, 10 and 11 which also produced a higher concentration of cultural material. As a result of the evaluation three open areas were extended as excavation, with Trench A centred on Trench 7 measuring 20m by 30m, Trench B centred on Trench 11 measuring 30m by 10m and Trench C centred on Trench 10 measuring approximately 15m by 15m.
Trench A was bisected by three inter-cutting curvilinear ditches and numerous pit cuts. The pits were shallow and contained low concentrations of cultural material, mainly dating to the Late Iron Age/Early Roman period. However one feature was large enough to suggest it was a clay extraction pit for the local Roman pottery or tile industries.
Trench B produced what appeared to be a series of six regularly spaced Late Iron Age/Early Roman field boundaries at the eastern end of the trench, with a further ditch at the western end of the trench. Little interpretation of these features could be made except they represented non domestic activity on the periphery of any settlement and possibly represented some form of down slope drainage activity.
Trench C also contained evidence of pitting, concentrated in the south of the trench. The features produced only small amounts of cultural material, limiting the interpretation of these features.
In summary the excavations revealed a focus of Late Iron Age occupation to the north of Colchester at a contemporary time to the Sheepen oppidum site to the west. The early nature of the Roman material suggests that the settlement on the ‘Southern Slopes’ was probably sacked at the same time as the Sheepen one ion AD 60. Background evidence indicates small scale activity such as sporadic intermittent visitation of the site throughout the prehistoric period. <1>
Evaluation Report: Pre-Construct Archaeology. 2004. Southern Slopes, on land at Rectory Close, Colchester. Post-excavation assessment.. PCA August 2004.
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Record last edited
Feb 29 2016 3:16PM
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