Central zone, Open Area 18 - Period 3B

Period 3A summary view | Period 3B summary view | Open areas (lower terrace) | Open areas (upper terrace)

Path alongside Road 2 (Groups 598, 603, 630)

Seemingly distinct from the gravel surfaces of Road 2 itself, patches of looser coarse gravel set in a silt matrix lie alongside within OA18 (Figure 83).

Gravel deposits 5992, 5941 and 18506 (Group 603), define a 2m wide 'path', the surface of which is noted to show signs of wear. It is overlain by a less compact layer of coarse gravel and pebbles in a clayey silt (5944/5945), which may denote resurfacing or at least repair.

Gravel band 5992 is similar to 5941, though recorded as being c. 1.6m wide.

Gravel deposit 13062 (Group 630) is again 2m wide, with 13075 (Group 598) representing repairs to it.

Other gravel patches (5884, 5885, 5991, 13074) alongside Road 2 are less convincing, but perhaps evidence similar localised episodes of minor surfacing along the edges of OA18.

Layer 5883 (Group 369) is a dark silty accumulation lying between the path and Road 2, helping to accentuate their separateness. This silt perhaps derives from road run-off that accumulates through later Periods 3 and 4.

It is not clear what would have occupied the couple of metres of space in between the road and this path, nor why such a parallel course was required. While it is tempting to decide that these could not have been roads themselves because they were so insubstantial, it is noted that the 'real' road surfaces were not necessarily any better. It is therefore possible these represent vestiges of a much wider phase of the road itself, although interpretation as something like a path alongside is preferred.


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