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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 86    1971  page 32
Excavations at Eccles Roman Villa, 1970: Ninth Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

grave-goods were found anywhere in unmistakable association with these inhumations, and the few Romano-British sherds present in the soil covering them are obviously rubbish survivals and of little chronological significance; moreover, some of these burials were not intact, in spite of their being inserted deeper than the plough can reach, though this is probably due to their being disturbed by later interments: hence, the total number of burials in the excavated area is at present not known.
   The dating of this cemetery is also indeterminable: their insertion on top of the demolished Room 121 and in area so close to the villa demonstrates that they may be sub-Roman,11 the laying out of most of these burials in an approximate east-west alignment is an indication of Christian practice and the depth of soil between subsoil and modern surface points to some considerable lapse of time between the end of the villa's occupation and the interment of these burials; beyond this, however, it would be unsafe to conjecture.

No new evidence has been recovered this season to cause any reconsideration of the dating sequence provisionally proposed in earlier reports; quite to the contrary, all evidence secured in this year's work, whether structural or stratified, has supported this chronology.

Summary and Discussion (Fig. 2)
   With the completion of the excavation of the villa's main range of rooms, it can now be seen that the original structure was a strip house, some 248 ft. (75.64 m.) long, consisting of twelve rooms with a corridor to their rear affording access from one end of the range to the other and facing to north-east, i.e. in the approximate direction of the Roman road from Rochester to the reputed settlement at Maidstone and beyond, on the high ground of Blue Bell Hill above the villa; whether this points to a connection between the original foundation and the Roman town of Rochester is a matter for conjecture. The house seems to have been entered from the south-east, through Room 116 which is provisionally interpreted as an entrance-hall, and its best furnished rooms, laid at least with tessellated pavements,12 were concentrated at the opposite end of the house.
   11 Professor S. S. Frere, M.A., F.B.A., F.S.A., has referred me to the very late cemetery at Cirencester.
   12 It is not impossible that the remnants of tessellation in Rooms 89 and 90 are the surviving parts of the borders surrounding mosaic panels, that the opus signinum floor in Room 91 had also a mosaic pavement laid on it; many lumps of mosaic, used as hard-core in later construction trenches (Arch. Cant., lxxxiv (1969), 100), establish beyond doubt the existence of mosaic floors which were removed in the later stages of the villa's life.

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