Record Details

NHER Number:32584
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Roman defensive ditches

Summary

A watching brief on excavation of a service trench to the south of Venta Icenorum Roman town (NHER 9786) recorded details of the triple defensive ditch outside the town previously noted on aerial photographs. Four ditches were encountered in excavation, the fourth intermediate ditch had not been picked up on the aerial photographs. The upper fills of these ditches were investigated and the Roman pottery found within them suggests they were infilled in the 2nd century AD. Finds in the churchyard include three Roman coins. The cropmarks of this section of the triple-ditch system is now recorded under NHER 52202, see also NHER 52201 for overall discussion of site.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2320 0317
Map Sheet:TG20SW
Parish:CAISTOR ST EDMUND, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

March 1997. Watching Brief.
Observation of pipe and electricity trench.
According to (S1) where the line of this trench crossed the previously recognised 'triple ditch' cropmark (variously assigned an Iron Age or Roman date), the ditches were recognised and Roman sherds were found. K. Penn (NAU) believes this indicates the ditches are part of the Roman town plan.

The Roman date of these ditches is confirmed in (S2), which also notes a previously unknown fourth ditch. The finds recovered included:
1 undatable prehistoric flint retouched flake.
1 Mesolithic/Early Neolithic flint notched blade.
3 Roman coins, 34 pottery sherds, 18 tile fragments, 1 iron ?carpenter's tool, 1 iron/copper alloy stud and 2 iron nails (the iron objects recovered from one of the ditches).
1 medieval/post-medieval copper alloy ring.
1 post-medieval coin.
1 undatable flint flake (possibly a piece of building waste), 3 burnt animal bone fragments.

This work was also reported in (S3).
E. Rose (NLA), 29 April 1997 and 26 January 1999. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 1 April 2014.

March 2009. Norfolk NMP.
The cropmarks of this section of the triple-ditch system is now recorded under NHER 52202, see also NHER 52201 for overall discussion of site.
S. Horlock (NMP), 24 March 2009.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TOWN DEFENCES (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • FLAKE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • BLADE (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • BLADE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • CHISEL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • NAIL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STUD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TEGULA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • RING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Fiche: Exists.
<S1>Unpublished document: 1997. Caistor St Edmund 32584 Interim Report. 24 March.
<S2>Unpublished document: Penn, K. (NAU). 1999. NAU Report No. 261. Report on a Watching Brief at Caistor St Edmund, Norfolk (Venta Icenorum).. August.
<S3>Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1998. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1997. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt I pp 193-210. p 195.

Related records - none

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