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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 79    1964  pages 130

Excavations at Eccles, 1963: Second Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

walls, was floored with a thin layer of white mortar, 2 in. thick, compacted upon the Romano-British topsoil. A channel, for a wooden pipe with some iron collars still in situ, had been cut through this topsoil from the north corner of the room; it led through the walls at the south corner of the room towards the main drain immediately outside the south-east wall of the room. A burial was inserted in this room close to the east corner; probably a male, it was fully extended on its back, except for the head which, at right angles to the body, was resting against the south-east wall of the room. No grave goods were recovered, and it is by no means certain that it is a Romano-British burial belonging to a later stage in the villa's history.
   Another burial was found inserted in the area immediately outside the south-east wall of Room 34 beyond the drain (Section K-L: Layer 4), but very little can be said of this as only the lower part of the skeleton was exposed within the excavated area; it would appear, however, that this burial, too, was interred in a position similar to that of the burial inside Room 34.
   Room 35 (20 by 9 ft.) is largely inferred, and its north-east wall was completely robbed.16 It was floored with the same compacted layer of white mortar laid directly upon the Romano-British topsoil. The area immediately outside the robbed north-east wall contained a very solid aggregate of ragstone and yellow mortar to a thickness of some 2 ft. over the subsoil, which showed signs of heavy oxidation and probably denotes an industrial working surface of Period III.
   Room 36 (12 by 11 ft.) contained much painted wall-plaster debris and rubble upon the same white mortar floor.
   The presence of these floors of white mortar16 laid down over the Romano-British topsoil in Rooms 33-36 and underneath the tessellated pavement in Room 37 clearly suggests that Room 37 was re-floored with its tessellated pavement in a later phase, but no floors were found in Rooms 33-36, which could be contemporary with the tessellation. A probable explanation may be that the corridor required re-flooring because of its heavy use whereas the mortar floors in Rooms 33-36 may have remained in good repair and quite suitable for their use in rooms, which could be considered as servants' quarters at the extreme northwest end of the villa; alternatively, it may be thought that even Rooms 33-36 were re-floored at the same time as Room 37, but with a less durable material than the opus signinum bed of the tessellation, which would not have survived under the slight depth of topsoil in this area.
   A drain was exposed outside the south-east walls of Rooms 33, 34 and 36, which has been traced below the pavement of Room 37 and
   15 The south-east wall of this room was confirmed in 1964.
   16 These floors of white mortar could be the under-base for timber floors. I owe this suggestion to Professor Sir Ian Richmond, P.S.A.

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