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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 84    1969  page 94
Excavations at Eccles Roman Villa, 1968: Seventh Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

illustrating this report; Mr. A. C. Harrison, B.A., F.S.A., for occasionally acting in my place; Mrs. K. F. Hartley, B.A., for reporting on the mortaria; Dr. J. P. C. Kent, B.A., Ph.D., F.S.A., for identifying the coins; and Mr. R. P. Wright, M.A., F.S.A., for reading and reporting on the graffiti. Finally, I must place on record my appreciation to my wife for the initial processing of the pottery.

The Excavation
This season's work was planned to continue the examination of the villa's living quarters beyond the points reached in 1967.

Period I,? to A .D. 43: Ditch I
A further trench was cut across the line of this ditch north-east of the area explored in 19672 but, apart from confirming the alignment of this ditch in this part of the site, no fresh evidence was forthcoming nor did it prove possible to carry out more extensive work in this area.

Periods II-III, to
c. A.D. 65: Ditches IV-VI
To these periods are tentatively assigned for the time being three rectilinear ditches found at the very end of the season's work. As these ditches are built over by the first house, they are clearly earlier than Period IV; this is independently supported by the few sherds found in Ditch VI. On the other hand, it must be noted that no pottery was recovered in either of the other two ditches. However, as Ditch IV runs approximately parallel to Ditch VI, into which runs Ditch V, it is clear that Ditches IV and V cannot have been cut much later than Ditch VI, even if it can eventually be shown that all three are not strictly contemporary.

Ditch IV
was approximately 2 ft. 6 in. deep and about 3 ft. wide, if its sides are projected to the top of the Romano-British plough -soil; it has been traced so far for some 74 ft. and its profile is roughly V-shaped. Ditch V is rather wider (3 ft.), but of the same depth and outline; so far only some 19 ft. of its course have been examined, from its junction with Ditch VI towards the eastern part of the site. Ditch VI is by far the largest of the three, with a width and depth of 8 ft. and 3 ft. 9 in. respectively; it is U-shaped in outline and its course has been traced for about 70 ft. What distinguishes these ditches is that Ditches IV and V are cut mainly through the Romano-British ploughsoil and barely penetrate the subsoil, hence their filling contained a very small proportion of Gault Clay, whereas Ditch VI is cut well into the subsoil and its filling consisted mainly of re-deposited clay subsoil over some silt accumulation. Clearly the subsoil upcast from this ditch must have been piled up on its western (? outer) lip and later
   2 Arch. Cant., lxxxii (1967), fig. 1; lxxxiii (1968), 40.

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