The purpose of these ditches is not clear,
nor is their dating. However, Ditch XV was cut into the
backfilling of the early Ditch X, which was filled in when the
first house was built; it is clear, therefore, that all these
ditches postdate the earliest building, though they could have
been cut, at the rear of the house, in much later times for
they certainly were open after the demolition of the villa in
view of the fact that some of the Anglo-Saxon burials had been
inserted into these ditches.
The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery
Evidence for scattered burials in the ruins of the villa
has been accumulating from the very first season of excavation
in 1962. Some of these were found in the derelict hypocausts
of the third bath building,6 others in the ruined
servants' quarters of the house7 and elsewhere. It
is only since 1970, however, that conclusive evidence for a
large cemetery has been forthcoming and its position located
mainly east of the north-east wing;8 in 1972 many
more burials were found in this area.
The great majority of these inhumations had been laid,
approximately east-west, in a dark soil which made it
impossible to distinguish the outlines of individual graves,
though these were clear wherever the burial had been dug into
the yellow clay subsoil. As in 1971,9 burials were
found superimposed, each subsequent inhumation usually badly
disturbing the one below it.
Fortunately, however, some of the earliest burials had been
provided with grave goods (Plates IIIA and
B, IVA and B) and
these showed that inhumation had begun during the closing
years of the pagan Anglo-Saxon period and continued into
Site D (N.G.R. TQ 718605)
Trenching was carried out on two occasions, at the beginning
and end of the excavation season, at a site used for the
disposal of waste-paper where a dark layer, containing
pottery, had been observed in a mechanically-exposed section
in 1971.11 As a result, a large pit filled with
pottery wasters was found at the foot of the present slope and
6 Ibid., lxxviii (1963), 140 and Plate
7 Ibid., lxxix (1964), 130.
8 It is not unlikely that the few scattered
inhumations found in 1970 to north-west of this wing (Arch.
Cant., lxxxvi (1971), Fig. 1) also belong to this
9 Arch. Cant., lxxxvi (1971), 31.
10 I am greatly indebted to Mrs. S.
C. Hawkes, M.A., F.S.A.,
for arranging for the conservation, drawing and photography of
some of these objects at the Institute of Archaeology,
University of Oxford, and for reporting on them (of. Antiq.
Journ., liii (1973), 281-6).
Arch. Cant., lxxxvii (1972), 108.