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Southern zone, Open Area 27 - Period 2B (third phase of activity)

A third phase of activity within Open Area 27 may be inferred from the complexity of the Period 2B remains present. Building 36 is assumed to survive into the mid-1st century. The arrangement of ancillary structures to its north is, however, altered considerably - perhaps signifying constant local modification and replacement. Structure 20 is removed and a rectilinear enclosure - possibly a pen or simply a fence around some pitting - erected to the north-west of Building 36.

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

Structure 22 (Group 256)

The western side of Structure 22 is defined by narrow cut, 0.40m wide and 0.12m deep (segs 14755, 14907, 14950), along part of the western edge of infilled boundary ditch 25075. The slot post-dates pit 14764 (Group 261), which is also cut into the top of the ditch and may be related to the construction of Structure 22. Similarly proportioned slot 25072 (segs 14217, 14289 14507) runs on a parallel alignment 10.50m to the east and forms the eastern side of Structure 22. This slot is 0.20m wide and the presence of post-holes 14498 and 14358/9 along it suggests that it is structural. The northern side of Structure 22 is defined by a short length of possibly truncated slot 14673. While these slots may not necessarily form a single contiguous feature, they represent the foundations for a fenceline creating a square enclosure - perhaps an animal pen - measuring 10.5m square. No southern limit to this structure is identified and it may be open on this side. A small amount of Roman wares is present along with grog-tempered pottery, dating the enclosure to the mid-1st century AD.

Pitting (Groups 249, 257, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 268)

Although no southern side to Structure 22 is apparent, small pit 14586 (Group 257) may instead be a large post-hole defining a structural element (or some sort of marker) positioned approximately mid-way along this side.

Pit 14764 (Group 261) is placed on the western boundary of the enclosure and the end of the Structure 22 foundation slot.

Pit 14574 (Group 259), which post-dates the hearth 14500, is of probable mid-1st century date and includes a possible iron Nauheim brooch fragment, baked clay block (SF8504) and a quantity of slag within its fill.

A concentration of inter-cutting pits (14426, 14582, 14618, 14841, 14882, 14891 Group 263) is apparent within the area enclosed by Structure 22, but it is unclear how many of these are directly contemporary with the use of the enclosure. They are generally dated to the first half of the 1st century AD. However, pit 14561 (Group 262) does appear to be centrally positioned within it. It contains baked clay block fragments (SFs 8493-4) and a ceramic spindlewhorl (SF7394).

Other pits (14376, 14447, 14579, 14835 Group 264, 14382 Group 260) lie outside Structure 22. Most are positioned close to Building 36. Two further pits 20028 and 20135 (Group 268) lie in the northern part of OA27; of these, 20135 definitely post-dates Structure 21, while 20028 may merely be slump into the top of underlying Period 2B pit 20030 (Group 248).

Solitary unstratified and undated pit 15848 (Group 249) is also considered to belong to this phase of activity within OA27.

Triangular loomweights are present in pits 14841 (Group 263), 14579 (Group 264) and 20135 (Group 268). Pit 14579 (Group 264) includes a pedestal vessel displaying probable deliberate breakage and is identified as containing a likely structured deposit (Vol. 1, Chapter 6).

It is noted that a number of substantial pits lie within Road 3, immediately to the north of OA17. These could be viewed as being related to activity within the enclosure, though are discussed in terms of road chronology and development (see Groups 88, 90, 91, 336).


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