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Caerleon iversity/UCL

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during the 4th century and beyond; in planning this project, we hoped that they would have left some evidence in Priory Field.

Our hopes seem to have been fulfilled. From an early stage in the cleaning of the site, we could see a short length of wall and some broken flagstones near the centre of the trench. At first, we thought this wall might be part of the Roman warehouse building, poking through layers of debris from the collapse or demolition of this structure. As the season went on, though, and more and more of the rubble covering the site was revealed, a different picture emerged. We discovered other lengths of walling, running at right angles to the first. We also found a slablined bin-like feature in the middle of the area of broken flagstones. Towards the end of the season, in limited parts of the site, walls which belong to the Roman warehouse were uncovered, and their relationship with all of these other features tells us a lot about the chronology of the site. Although we still have much work to do on the Roman building, we can trace the lines of the range of rooms discovered by Tim Young through a mixture of robber trenches and small pieces of thick masonry. A crucial piece of evidence that suggests major changes to this structure came from one corner of our trench, where excavators found that a well-laid flagstone floor had been put across the main inside wall of the warehouse, perhaps extending a passage-way through it. This strongly suggests quite a long life for the building and we hope to confirm this by finding later Roman dating evidence for this alteration in our next season.

Post imperial changes At some time the use of the building ceased and gradually its walls were robbed for building materials. During this long aftermath of the store building’s life, other buildings were constructed over the top of the Roman warehouse, perhaps re-using bits of standing masonry. The various lengths of walling that we discovered early on in the season seem to belong to the first phase of these buildings. We can put these together to form one or two rectangular structures with quite narrow stone walls that overlap the Roman building and were quite a lot smaller than it. Although we are not sure how many of the Roman walls were still standing when this was built, we do know that the new structure used a rather different style of building technique, and that it collapsed (one of the walls was found

Above walls of the postwarehouse building(s). These are the thinner walls running vertically through the picture.

archaeologycurrent 226

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