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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 88    1973  page 77
Excavations at Eccles Roman Villa, 1972: Eleventh Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

trenches provided some evidence for Ditch XIII (cf. above, p. 75) at its extreme eastern end; the most south-westerly contained no archaeological evidence.
   However, the middle one of these trenches coincided with the north-eastern face of a feature and, consequently, this trench was widened to allow for fuller examination which established the plan of an ornamental basin situated in this area (Plate IB).
   This basin had been constructed over the line of the filled-in Ditch XIII and some subsidence had occurred at the basin's north corner. The structure, measuring internally 11 ft. 6 in. by 5 ft. 6 in. (3.45 by 1.65 m.), consisted of a very solid foundation of roofing-tiles laid directly on the subsoil, with their flanges upside down and embedded into a layer of yellow mortar; the wall of the basin was next constructed on top of this solid raft (Plate IIA): it was 1 ft. (0.30 m.) wide and built mainly of dressed tufa blocks to an unknown height though little of the basin's depth appears to have been lost. The wall was rendered internally with opus signinum, 1 in. (2.5 cm.) thick. Next was laid the floor of the basin, consisting of opus signinum to an average thickness of 3 in. (7.5 cm.) and surviving intact apart from some pitting by frost; the opus signinum had been shaped to a quarter-round moulding at the junction of wall and floor, and the whole structure made quite watertight (Plate IIB).
   No dating material was found stratified below this basin which must clearly belong to the later structural periods of the villa on the following grounds. Its function is evidently that of an ornamental garden-pond, almost certainly containing aquatic plants and fish; its location exactly at the centre of the courtyard between the villa's two projecting wings makes this conclusion inescapable and, moreover, shows that the basin must have been built at the same time as or after the construction of the south-east wing, certainly after the house was turned round to face south-west.

Later Features
These later features consist of lengths of four ditches. Ditch XII was first found in 19716 and this year was further cut in a new trench at the eastern corner of the south-east wing extending its known length to nearly 30 ft. (9 m.). Ditch XIV was 1 ft. 6 in. (0.45 m.) wide and traced for some 49 ft. 6 in. (14.85 m.). Running into it is a short length of Ditch XVI of about the same width. Ditch XV was 3 ft. (0.90 m.) wide and has been traced for some 52 ft. 6 in. (15.75 m.). Ditches XIV and XV obviously merge or intersect in an unexplored area beyond the most easterly points yet traced.
   5 Ibid., lxxxvii (1972), 106.

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