just as it had fallen). Other remains of this phase of occupation included a poorly-laid concrete floor surface and a re-used inscription, which was one of our most exciting finds. This stone, recording earlier building work under a chief centurion (primus pilus) called Flavius Rufus, may have been part of the collapsed wall. These various elements paint a confusing picture of a time in which much seems to have changed from the early imperial period, but with some continuities – particularly the floor and likely reuse of some warehouse walls.
The final phase in the sequence was another building erected on top of the ruins of the intermediate stone buildings. To this belonged the rough flagstone floor around the slab-lined bin, which may have been for grain-storage or animal feed. No walls survived of this structure, which were probably timber. Although we cannot date either of these phases at the moment (pending radiocarbon results will help), we know that they fit between the end of the Roman warehouse and the 14th century, when a large pit, cutting through all earlier remains, was dug on the site. At the very least then, we have found important new evidence for Medieval Caerleon.
The possibility that some of these developments fall within the Roman period, however, holds exciting potential for re-writing the story of the end of Isca.
The possibility that some of these developments fall within the Roman period, however, holds exciting potential for re-writing the story of the end of Isca. The relaid flagstone entrance-way may belong to the 3rd or 4th century, and represents alterations perhaps carried out by legionaries who were still using this building for storage. After a period of abandonment, the later stone buildings could be a new storage or residential complex, built by a relatively organised group of people. If this did reuse or respect some Roman walls, as we suspect, then the abandonment did not last too long, and this is likely to have been erected in the very late Roman or early Medieval period. The roughly flagged timber building was probably a cowshed and its use probably dates to after AD 1000, but as it belongs to a period when
Left Inscription being lifted by Anna Gow.