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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 88    1973  page 74
Excavations at Eccles Roman Villa, 1972: Eleventh Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

L. Thomsen and P. Thornhill, B.A. I am also grateful to Mr. I. J. Bissett, for drawing the coarse pottery; Miss D. Charlesworth, M.A., F.S.A, for reporting on the glass; Mrs. K. F. Hartley, B.A., F.S.A., for reporting on the mortaria; Mr. M. R. Hull, M.A., F.S.A., for reporting on the brooches; 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. Lastly, I am also greatly indebted to Miss D. M. Rooke, for taking charge of the recording of the finds and much personal assistance, and Miss C. E. Cockram, for help with the preparation of this report.

The Excavation
Work this year was concentrated in the courtyard area of the villa, to east and south-east of the house, and at one other site; its aim was the continued examination of features partly explored in 1971.

Periods I-IV, to
c. A.D. 65: The Ditches
Further sections were cut across the lines of the three ditches already reported on.2
Ditch IX was sectioned to the south of the building's south-east wing and its known length increased to some 150 ft. (45 m.), its width remaining constant at 7 ft. 6 in. (2.25 m.) on average; this ditch continued on a straight alignment and had been filled in with material deriving from its cutting, probably not long afterwards as it contained little silt at its bottom.
   Ditch X was traced in several new trenches and its known length increased to 181 ft. 6 in. (54.45 m.); its width remained c. 7 ft. (2.10 m.). In one or two trenches, the outline of this ditch was nearer to a V-shape than elsewhere and showed a rather shallow, rudimentary cleaning channel which is reminiscent of military work. The amount of grey silt, present at the lowest levels of this ditch below its back-filling of Romano-British topsoil, and the pottery stratified in it demonstrate that it remained open rather longer than Ditch IX, though it must have been filled in by the time the first house was built in c. A.D. 65.
   Two new trenches, cut across the line of Ditch XI (Plate IA) which was first examined in 1971, in an area of great disturbance,3 allowed its correct course and width to be established; its present length and width arc 28 ft. 6 in. (8.61 m.) and 4 ft. 9 in. (1.74 m.), respectively, and it was found to be U-shaped. Its back-filling of yellow clay had subsided towards the middle of the ditch; this subsidence has been made good by a layer of d6bris consisting mainly of loose tesserae, mostly white and grey in colour but also a few red ones cut from samian ware,
   2 Arch. Cant., lxxxvii (1972), 102.
   3 Ibid., and Fig. 1.

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