Monument record MCC8095 - Colchester-Stanway gravel pits


Excavation of five sub-rectangular ditched enclosures, four containing burials, one part of a farmstead. All Late Iron Age in date.


Grid reference TL 9545 2258 (point)
Map sheet TL92SE


Type and Period (6)

Full Description

This site was excavated in intermittent stages between 1987 and 2003 in advance of its destruction for sand and gravel extraction.. It lies on the fringe of the Late Iron Age and Roman oppidum of Camulodunum. Appears to have been the burial place of a high-status Catuvellaunian family.
Excavation of part of two sub rectangular ditched enclosures in late 1980's, early 1990's.. Eastern most pair of group of five identified from cropmarks. Enclosure 1 (north enclosure) contained middle and late iron age pits together with a late iron age cremation in a pot. The ?neolithic pit lay to the north of enclosure 1. Enclosure 2 (southern enclosure) contained middle iron age pits two of which contained triangular loom weights. <2>
Aerial photo <3> <4>
Further excavations in late 1990's revealed enclosures 3, 4 and 5 which were laid out in a continuous row in two stages, one in A.D. 35-45 (enclosure 3) and the other two (4and 5) as a conjoined pair in A.D. 40-50. The enclosures contain richly furnished burials, chambers and mortuary enclosures. One burial has been termed the 'warrior's burial' and another the 'doctor's burial' because of the nature of their grave-goods. The Doctor's burial contained 'medical implements' and rods, in addition to a gaming board. The warrior's burial contained a lance and shield boss amongst a host of other items. <5>
The only certain pyre-site was in the centre of enclosure 3; two small square ditched areas in enclosures 4 and 5 may have been pyre-sites or structures for excarnation. <5>

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> DESC TEXT: unknown. 1960 0nwards. SMR form unknown.
  • <2> Graphic material: Carter, G and Shimmin, D. unknown. EXCAV RECORDS Colchester Archaeol Trust.
  • <3> AP: Strachan, David. 1999. CP/99/1/5.
  • <4> DESC TEXT: Crummy, P 2007. Stanway: An Elite Burial Site at Camulodunum.

Finds (11)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Nov 3 2015 11:41AM

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