Lower terrace, Road 2 - Period 2B

Along with Road 1, Road 2 (Figure 6 and Figure 58), forms the principal thoroughfare through the settlement (or at least a link between them). While it may be conjectured to extend off south-westward as far as a crossing of the River Chelmer, only a short length of its northern end is exposed within the development area.

Where investigated within Excavation Areas I and K, these earliest surfaces are laid upon brickearthy bedding layers and both overlay and are cut by features of apparent LIA/early Roman transition date.

Although the road surface merges imperceptibly with the gravelled surface across Open Area 18, and would therefore seem to be laid as a part of the same remodelling episode, it is separated by a fence-line that runs along the road edge (see Central zone).

Period summary view | Open areas, enclosure systems and roads on the lower terrace

Road surfacing (Groups 99, 100, 101)

At the junction of Roads 2 and 3, immediately west of Open Area 17, the earliest recognised make-ups or metalled surfaces (4900 Group 99, 13109 Group 100, 13381, 18330, 18331 Group 101) overlie mid-1st century pits (Group 92), some of which contain likely destruction/clearance debris (e.g. 14057). Pottery from the surface itself is also of LIA/early Roman transition date.

Only small areas of these road deposits were exposed within limited areas of excavation. Thin layers of compacted gravel surface overlie orange-brown sandy silt bedding deposits 0.1-0.15m thick. Likely road surface 18331 is contemporary with occupation surface 5935 within adjacent OA18; both are overlain by subsequent resurfacing of Road 2.

Deposits 14003 and 14050 (Group 337) may represent make-ups for an even earlier Road 2 surface that has not otherwise survived, but is more likely disturbed natural (Group 337, not illustrated) resulting from preceding ground clearance during the remodelling episode.


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