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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 80    1965  page 89

Excavations at Eccles, 1964: Third Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

building, particularly in view of its various reconstructions. The closing date is arrived at by adopting the later of two possible dates for the stratified pottery and is further supported by two fairly worn coins of Nerva, an as and a dupondius, found in the destruction layers of Room 46.
   Period IV, c. A.D. 120-180: The Second Bath Building is also dated rather later in the second century by again adopting, at either end, the later of two possible dates for the stratified pottery.
   Period V, c. A.D. 180-290: The Third Bath Building is shortened as the result of the later dating for the closing of Period IV, but no evidence has been forthcoming to suggest any reconsideration of the date for the closing of this period.

   After three seasons' work, many questions posed from the very beginning of the excavation remain still unanswered and the hypotheses, suggested in the earlier reports as possible interpretations of some of the problems, are still valid.
   One of the gains of this season's work has been to establish what is often only conjectured on Romano-British sites in Kent, a pre-Roman occupation; though this is now quite certain at Eccles, what is enclosed by the ditch of Period I can only be guessed. On the other hand, it does not seem unreasonable to postulate a direct development from a native farm to a fully Romanised style of living.
   One of the questions still to be resolved is how it became possible for this change over to Roman concepts of building and standards of living to take place so soon after the conquest, and for the first baths to be already destroyed and replaced by the second bath building at a time when, at other sites, simple villas were only beginning to become established. For at most villa-sites, baths were a luxury added only in the second century or later. The suggestion made earlier23 of a philo-Roman landowner adapting himself to the Roman example within a decade of the invasion is, in the absence of any conclusive evidence for a military occupation of the site, still the most likely interpretation; this landowner could well be one of the ancestors of the Bellicius Ianuaris who, thoughtfully, inscribed his name for posterity on a silver spoon and a bowl of samian ware, which were found this season.24
In general, the picture that emerges so far is of a site with a large bath building, built by an architect with a military background, replaced by another with marked civilian characteristics though with
   23 Arch. Cant, ,lxxix (1964), 135.
    24 Kindly read by Mr.R.P. Wright, F.S.A.;cf. JRS, lv (1965), 224-5, no. 18 and pl. XVI, 3, and 226, no. 33.

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