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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 87   1972 page 132

Rochester East Gate, 1969. By A. C. Harrison, B.A., F.S.A.

APPENDIX

THE ROMAN EAST GATE: A TENTATIVE RECONSTRUCTION

BY A. P. DETSICAS, M.A., F.S.A.

As it is very unlikely that, in present circumstances, any further excavation can be undertaken for any remnants of the Roman East Gate below the level of the High Street, an attempt is here made to reconstruct this structure on the basis of the established archaeological evidence and the analogy of other town gates.
   The two most likely possibilities are that either the original width of the gate was 29 ft. (8 .84 m.), narrowed to 19 ft. (5.79 m.) in medieval times, or the original width was 19 ft. (5 .79 m.) and remained unaltered in the medieval period. Of these two possibilities, the latter seems the least likely; for in this case the width of the gateway is too wide for a single-portal gate (at Colchester, the north-east gate is 10 ft. 8 in. (3.25 m.) wide; at Caerwent, the north and south gates are about 9 ft. (2.74 m.) wide), and one would have to assume a double-portal gateway 'with carriageways narrower than in other Romano-British towns. Though this is, of course, not impossible, it would seem unlikely in view of the fact that the East Gate, at one end of Watling Street, was the main entrance into the town on the highway from the Channel ports. If, on the other hand, the first alternative is considered, there is a striking identity in width (both 29 ft., 8.84 m.) between the Rochester East Gate and the Silchester West Gate; moreover, both gates date from about the same period. On these grounds, it is suggested that the Rochester East Gate may have been very similar to the Silchester West Gate in general, for no details have been established about the Rochester East Gate.

 

THE FINDS 

I. ROMAN POTTERY

(i) Coarse Pottery (Figs. 9-10) 

By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A.

   Most of the coarse pottery found during the excavations was recovered in a number of pits, a few sherds were found stratified in layers un­disturbed by medieval activity, others were completely unstratified or mixed with much later material; a few sherds are illustrated and

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