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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 89    1974  page 121
Excavations at Eccles Roman Villa, 1973: Twelfth Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

just beyond the north-western lip of Ditch X; it had been dug into the subsoil and came to an end in the area occupied by the Anglo-Saxon burial ground. If it continued, after a gap, further to west, it would have been removed by the deeper excavation required for the construction of Room 121.5

Period II, c. A.D. 55-65
 
In the courtyard area (Fig. 2), the mechanical trenches in 19726 were extended to north-west and the two furthest to east proved abortive; occupation evidence, however, was found in the area contained between the two furthest to west.
   This evidence consisted of an area, to south-east of the villa's later (Period V) south-west wing, which had been laid with a floor of yellow mortar, averaging 1-2 in. (0.025-0.05 m.) in thickness and placed, at a depth of c. 1 ft. 6 in. (0.45 m.), directly on the Romano-British plough-soil; further trenching, established the north-east, south-east and southwest limits of this floored area but, because of much disturbance at depth during medieval times, it was impossible to prove its north-western limit which may not have extended quite to the line of the south-west wing. Furthermore, though the limits of this mortared area were clearly defined, it proved impossible to establish the outlines of the sleeper-beam construction trenches which, on the basis of the partitioning sleeper beam, delimited the whole area. If the floor did reach the line of the south-west wing, it would have occupied a total area of 41 ft. 6 in. by 15 ft. (12.45 by 4.50 m.).
   This floored area was divided by a wooden partition, constructed almost at its centre. This has survived as the construction trench for its sleeper beam cut through the mortar floor; it did not, however, divide the entire width of the floored area as it turned to north-west in order to allow for a narrow (3 ft. 6 in., 1.05 m.) corridor-like passage. The two larger compartments communicated through a gap, clearly a doorway, which interrupted the sleeper-beam trench and measured 4 ft. (1.20 m.) in width.
   The purpose of this structure is problematic; its flooring and construction are not substantial enough to indicate a dwelling-house, and it seems more likely that it may have been a workshop or outbuilding. Its dating, too, is debatable as no finds at all were recovered from below the mortar floor; however, it fits more easily with the excavated evidence to consider this building as belonging to an early phase in the occupation of the site. For the whole layout of the villa's courtyard, with an ornamental water-basin at its centre7 and,
   5 Ibid., lxxxvi (1971), 29.
   6 Ibid., lxxxviii (1973), fig. 2. 
  
7
Ibid.. 77.

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