Central zone, temple precinct (OA23) - Period 3B

Through the later 1st century AD, all temple development and activity took place upon the original gravel surfacing of the enclosure interior, laid down as part of the LIA/early Roman transition period remodelling episode. Presumably as part of the Period 2B remodelling of the temple complex, the precinct surfacing is renewed - perhaps at the same time as Roads 3 and 4 receive resurfacing (Figure 78).

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

Resurfacing of precinct (Groups 404, 405)

Open Area 23 to the north and east of Building 52 is resurfaced in first half of the 2nd century with gravels 5184, 5354=13529, 5772, 5773, 13012, 13013, 13532, 13539, 13595 (Group 405) set on sandy silt make-ups 13243, 13459, 13540, 13549 (Groups 404). Because no trace of this surface is identified within the footprint of Building 52, it is probable that the surface is laid after the construction of the new temple. As with the earlier gravel surface (Period 2B), the surfacing survived only patchily, but these remnants are sufficiently extensive to suggest that originally it covers much, if not all, of the precinct area. It clearly overlies elements of the earlier temple complex (Buildings 35 and 46), although not the earlier temple itself (Building 34).

At least two phases of activity are apparent. Though essentially similar, these are separated by a number of ungrouped post-holes. While it is possible that some layers constitute interim levelling measures, or repairs to the earlier surface, a sequence of consecutive gravel surfaces and their associated make-up deposits is identified (viz. 13540, 13539, 13595, 13532, 5354), showing that there may be as many as three surfacing episodes.

However, some layers within these groups are stratigraphically unclear, having in particular an ambiguous relationship with some elements of Period 3A Building 46. 5354 is, in effect, a poorly defined catch-all number for various surface fragments.

Small quantities of tile, pottery and tesserae are noted within the gravel surface, though these are likely to be later incorporations rather than components of its construction.


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