Central zone, Open Area 19 - Period 2B (east)

In contrast to the west end of the enclosure, the central and eastern parts of the OA19 interior appear to be largely void of Period 2B features and are presumed to be essentially open space - perhaps mirroring that in front of the temple complex on the opposite side of Road/track 4.

Although the central part is largely unexplored (Excavation Area L did not continue significantly northward beyond Road 4), the eastern end is investigated within Excavation Area M. Substantial expanses of gravel surfacing are present here, and it is likely that this originally covered the whole of the OA19 interior east of the developing temple complex. The presence here of a circular building toward the Road/track 5 edge demonstrates that this surfaced space is not entirely clear, though such occupying activity may be confined to the immediate roadsides in this period.

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

Surfacing (Group 119)

An area of gravel surfacing and make-up (15034, 15048, 15176, 15202, 15203, 15279, 15481, 15558, 15937 Group 119), cumulatively up to 0.10m thick and lain directly on natural deposits, is located within the eastern part of OA19 (Excavation Area M). It is unclear whether these deposits are directly contemporary with the surfacing at the west end - the general lack of Period 2 and 3 features in this part of the site means that a reliable terminus ante quem is not available from features cutting it. Furthermore, it is likely that the small amount of dating evidence gathered derives from deposition on its surface rather than incorporated within it. A possible exception is the Dressel 1 amphora within gravel layer 15558. Relying upon the evidence for similar surfaces in the western part of OA19, it is likely, though not conclusive, that this surface belongs to Period 2. From the fact that it does not seem to have extended to the south of the line of Road 4, it may be conjectured that it is laid at the same time as, or shortly after, the imposition of the road system.

Building 6 (Group 199)

Building 6 is represented by a curving gully, 15437. The 0.4m wide feature averages 0.22m deep, describing approximately one-quarter of a circle, the remainder of which extends beyond the edge of excavation. The undulating base is perhaps the result of undefined post-settings within the gully. Within the building interior are two post-holes, 15519 and 15521, which have no obvious structural purpose but could be related. The diameter of Building 6 is an estimated 8-10m (giving an area of at least 50m²). The gully and post-holes are cut into the gravel surfacing that is present at this location, but unfortunately it is not clear whether this was the upper or lower surface.

It is perhaps likely that Building 6 constitutes the only occupation of this eastern part of the OA19 surfaced area in the Late Iron Age/early Roman transition period. The single fill of the gully contains a small assemblage of pottery and briquetage, for which only a general Late Iron Age date can be given. It is cut by early Roman ditch 15045, which provides a terminus ante quem for this building's use. Given that the gravel surfacing is likely to have been laid relatively late in the period, a mid-1st century construction date for the building is postulated.


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