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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 84    1969  page 101
Excavations at Eccles Roman Villa, 1968: Seventh Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

tiles rose abutting the wall-face;17 no direct evidence for either was found, however, as the wall had been completely robbed.
   The main flue channel and its subsidiaries had been cut into the Romano-British topsoil, parallel with the inner and outer walls of the room and extending for the full length of the room. Three subsidiary channels opened towards the north-east wall from the main flue: two of these were built adjacent to the partition walls and the central one very nearly half-way between them; there were no channels at all opening to south-west of the main flue. All the construction trenches for these channels had been lined internally with two courses of clay-bonded ragstone to form a stable foundation for the superstructure; this consisted of six layers of superimposed bonding-tiles, each one projecting further inward than the layer below, in the manner of corbel-vaulting, until the space separating the opposite sides had been reduced to a mere 6 in. A capping layer of bonding-tiles spanned this gap, except for the area close to the mouth of the flue and underneath the partition wall from the furnace (Room 96) where the larger bridging-tiles had been used instead. The uppermost layer of capping tiles had survived intact in situ and in good condition, except for cracking through heating; none of the channels was floored, and heat alone had baked the underlying soil to a brick-red consistency and colour. Clay had been used throughout the construction of this hypocaust for bonding, except for the bridging tiles which had been mortared. The main channel was 1 ft. 6 in. wide and the subsidiary ones 1 ft.; the height of all the channels was about 2 ft.
   There was an accumulation of soot and ashes in the main channel close to the mouth of the flue into Room 96; likewise, soot had collected at the ends of the subsidiary channels and at the points where they would have risen vertically inside or against the north-east wall. The soot and ashes close to the mouth of the flue and for some way towards the north-west contained many sherds and food bones, their volume decreasing away from the flue-mouth; this deposit, which also contained a coin of Carausius, had obviously been pushed into the hypocaust channel by those tending the furnace,18 and its date is mainly of the fourth century A.D. A second, and very worn, coin of Tetricus was found embedded in the yellow mortar bonding of the south-east partition wall in the flue cut through this wall when the channelled hypocaust was inserted; its actual find-spot was the seating of one of the bridging-tiles spanning the flue, and its discovery confirms the dating of this reconstruction.

   17 I owe this suggestion to Professor S. S. Frere, M.A., F.S.A.
   18 It is interesting to note that this practice of disposing of rubbish under a hypocaust was also observed in the laconicum of the earliest baths; Arch. Cant., lxxix (1964), 123. 

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