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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 91    1975  page 42
Excavations at Eccles Roman Villa, 1974: Thirteenth Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford; and Dr. J. P. C. Kent, B.A., Ph.D., F.S.A., for identifying the coins. I also owe a great debt to Miss S. J. Marsh, for her assistance with the records of this excavation and much help with the compilation of this report.

The Excavation
   This year's work was concentrated in areas to south, south-east and south-west of the villa and to south-west of its baths wing; the results of this excavation (Figs. l-4) are reported below within the chronological period to which each feature is assigned.

I. Late Iron Age/Romano-British
Periods III, to c. A.D. 65
   Ditch X.
Several new trenches2 were cut across the line of this feature and its known length increased to some 234 ft. (70.20 m.); as in 1973,3 the V-shaped outline of this ditch showed unmistakable traces of a shallow cleaning channel at its bottom, rather like the box-gutter of military ditches, and its back-filling contained some sherds of early samian ware as well as coarse pottery, some of which had been manufactured at Site D.4 From the amount of silt present at the bottom of this ditch, it is clear that it had not remained open for very long; its present length indicates an enclosure of some size, though no evidence has been found so far, at either end of the excavated trenches, for a change in direction.
   Ditch XI. As a result of new trenches across the line of this ditch, it is now known that its alignment changes slightly to east; the excavated length of this ditch has reached 58 ft. 6 in. (17.20 m.). Its shape is as recorded in 1972, 6 it was noted that the filling of Ditch XI consisted mostly of clean subsoil and that there was virtually no silt at its bottom.
   The purpose of either of these two ditches is not yet established.

Periods IV-V, c. A.D. 120-290
   Ditch VIII
(Fig. 2) was again sectioned and found to come to a rounded end 30 ft. (9.00 m.) to north-east of the point reached in previous years of work6; trenching beyond this end showed that this ditch did not continue, after a gap, beyond it. Ditch VIII had been back-filled with demolition debris and domestic refuse, and its purpose is almost certainly that of a rubbish pit.

2  For reasons of economy, this feature is not shown on Fig. 1 to west of the villa's south-east ring, but of. Arch. Cant., lxxxix (1974), Fig. 1.
   3  Ibid., 120. 
Ibid., 128-9.
   Ibid., lxxxviii (1973), Fig. 1, 74-6.
   6  Ibid., lxxxvii (1972), Fig. 2, 106.

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