earlier than c.
A.D. 75. A fairly large deposit of coarse pottery found in the
ash of the secondary stokehole of Room 32, which was sealed by
later debris and is clearly the result of breakage by those
tending the hypocaust, is consistently late first-century in date.
The dating suggested for the close of this period depends on
pottery and, in particular, on figured samian ware, of types not
usually thought to have been current much later than c. A.D.
100-120.21 However, to extend the first period of
occupation of the site much beyond about A.D. 100 would seriously
curtail the already rather short span allotted on secure grounds
to Period II, and if Period I is to be made longer, it must start
earlier than the suggested date of c. A.D. 75; an earlier starting
date would suit the evidence at present available.
Period II: c. A.D. 100-150. This tentative
dating, very slightly modified in one respect from that suggested
in the earlier report, has been given additional support by
pottery and coins found stratified in the destruction layers of
Periods I and II. The closing date for this period is based on the
rubbish deposits (Section K-L: Layer 21; Section
M-N: Layer 55) found in Rooms 33 and 26, which have produced
coarse pottery and samian ware characteristically Antonine to
late-Antonine; it is further supported by figured samian
stratified below the hypocaust floor of Room 23 and by a worn dupondius
of Antoninus Pius of A.D. 145 deposited on the floor of Room
26 under the debris filling it, which provides a definite terminus
post quern for the destruction.
Period III: c. A.D. 150-290. The initial
dating of this period is based on the pottery stratified under the
floor of Room 23 in the levelled debris under the chalk lumps
which supported the opus signinum; it is clearly of
mid-second-century date and supports the pottery and coin
mentioned above. The closing date, suggested in the 1962 report,
is confirmed by the pottery and stratified coins found in the
destruction layers of Room 25. Though the pottery was rather
scanty, enough was recovered of late third-century fabrics and
forms, and in full accordance with the pottery types recovered
from the 1962 Rubbish Pit C.22 Furthermore, the soot
and ashes raked out of the furnace (Section K-L:
Layer 35) yielded a coin of Victorinus, and the lowest destruction
layer in Room 25 four coins of Carausius.
Summary and Discussion
After two seasons' work on this site, it is clear
that the complete extent of this large villa is yet to be
determined, as is also its place in the history of the area.
Considering the bath buildings alone, the striking feature is the
21 Further supported by two
dupondii of Nerva of a.d. 98 found in 1964 stratified in
the destruction layers of this period.
23 Arch. Cant., lxxviii (1963),