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The end of an era

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

If you have been following the blog you will have been on the incredible journey that is post-excavation phasing of our 2015 and 2016 excavations at East Wear Bay. We are nearly at the end of the phasing for this site (likely all be thrown out of the window during the 2017 season!) so without further ado we'll crack on and see what delights Phase 3 has in store for us.

And here it is:

Gone are all of the features of the previous periods, they've all been leveled to make way for this series of ditches dating from the first century AD through to the fourth century AD. We were very fortunate that the inter-cutting ditches didn't go through the stone lined box in the centre of the roundhouse.

This raises some questions about what happened to the thriving settlement between the late Iron Age and the early Roman period. The answer probably lies with the construction of the villa, at some point around the end of the first century AD. The site shifts from that of an industrial trading settlement to a single high class Roman residence. No high ranking Roman would want an native British settlement on their doorstep, and it was swept away to make room for the estate.

We know these field boundaries are associated with the villa because when we marry the plans of our recent excavation with the ones produced during the A Town Unearthed villa excavation, you can see that they are on the same alignment!

If you are wondering what the villa might have looked like Smith Kriek Productions have produced some fantastic reconstruction pictures. I share this one with you for now because our Iron Age settlement is roughly located underneath and to the left of the villa.

Well that wraps up the phasing for our 2015/16 excavation. Our discoveries in this season should hopefully answer some of the questions we have raised during the previous seasons, but more than likely it will raise more!

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