4.6 Bath

The excavations in the inner precinct of the temple at Bath revealed a stratigraphic sequence of rough pavings and sediment accumulations sandwiched between the neatly paved surface of the precinct and a thick scree of rubble marking the collapse or demolition of the temple buildings. These episodes of rough paving were described by their excavators as Period 5a-5f and their chronology is of some interest because Period 5e produced fragments that are probably from Type 18 bowls (Cunliffe and Davenport 1985, 158).

A patch in the original precinct paving contained a coin of AD 347-348. Period 5c contained a coin of AD 364-378 and Period 5e a coin of AD 388-402. A bone comb, bone bracelets and a belt plate (Hawkes and Dunning 1961, Type 1B) were also recovered from Period 5e and increasingly evidence is accumulating that would see these artefacts as indicators of 5th-century activity (Cool 2000; Cool 2010, 286). Radiocarbon dates are also available for this stratigraphic sequence. Large and fresh animal bones from Period 5d produced dates of AD 170-410 and AD 260-540 and Period 5e AD 130-420 and AD 130-430 (Gerrard 2007, table 1) although the interpretation of these dates is not unproblematic (Dr Hilary Cool pers. comm.; Gerrard 2015). Nevertheless, the sherds from fragmentary Type 18 bowls must post-date AD 364-378 and are associated with coins of AD 388-402 as well as what is beginning to be interpreted as a suite of 5th-century material culture (Cool 2000).