KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

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.

Previous page       Back to Page listings       Next page      

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Back the Contents page    To Arch. Cant. List    To Publications On-line    To Research Page    To Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
Kent Archaeological Society 26th August 2012

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too