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above Some of the remains of the 2nd-century town: a str eet (left) within the 2nd-century defended vicus, flanked by a stone building; and (right) the free-standing, 2nd-century boundary wall under excavation at A gricola Bridge. The wall divided an area of military activity associated with the fort (to the west) from civilian settlement fronting onto Dere S treet (to the east). right A carved phallus on a reused bridge stone at Agricola Bridge, ident ified by A dam Parker.

suburb, the rear of the plots had been used for burial, with six inhumation burials and four cremations identified. A well and a watering hole were also found at Scurragh House; at the base of each was found an altar. Appropriately for a site with military associations, one was dedicated to the war god Mars, and the other to Mars-Condates,

a syncretised deity known from northern Britain and Gaul, linking Mars with a Celtic water god. Beyond the Romans The latest Roman occupation of Cataractonium came during the late 4th century, when there was an apparent resurgence in building


activity in all areas of the town. A number of substantial stone structures were identified on both sides of the river, at Fort Bridge and Brompton East. Little of their superstructure and few internal details survived, but the buildings were footed on wellbuilt clay-and-cobble foundations up to 1.8m deep, suggesting that the structures were two storeys high. In some instances, the foundations contained pottery, indicating a construction date after AD 360. Part of the previously metalled street was overlain with flagstones during the late 4th century, signifying the town was being augmented and maintained into the 5th century – and its use did not stop with the end of the Roman period.

Evidence for post-Roman occupation of Cataractonium was identified in almost all the excavation areas and included five sunken-featured buildings and a deposit of ‘dark earth’.

left Excavating a 3rd-century sandstone structure with a hypocaust at Fort Bridge. The room with the hypocaust represents a later remodelling of the building.

FEBRuary 2020

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