Colchester Archaeological Trust
CAT Report 493: summary
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An archaeological evaluation at Fiveways Fruit Farm, Dyer's Road, Stanway, Colchester, Essex September-October 2008
by Ben Holloway and Howard Brooks
Date report completed: March 2009
Location: Fiveways Fruit Farm, Dyer's Road, Stanway, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 9576 2320 (c)
File size: 12267 kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results: **
Keywords: Middle Iron Age, Roman, settlement, loom-weight, enclosure
The site lies 500m to the north of the Late Iron Age élite burial site excavated at Stanway Quarry in 1986 and 1994-5. Prior to a planning proposal for the expansion of the aggregate quarry on the site, a 5% evaluation was carried out by means of 99 trenches totalling 2,960 m in length.
The majority of the excavated features were post-medieval and modern ditches, and natural features. Significant archaeological features were concentrated on the southern edge of the eastern part of the evaluation site, ie in Field 6. There were two principal periods of activity, ie Middle Iron Age and Roman. There was evidence for a Middle Iron Age settlement, possibly connected with a curvilinear ?enclosure detected during an earlier geophysical survey, and this included significant quantities of pottery, and loom-weight fragments indicating local cloth-weaving. A number of ditches cut in the Roman period, probably in the 2nd century AD, may have defined a rectilinear enclosure measuring approximately 62 m by 70 m. Small fragments of ditches may represent a contemporary field system.
The particular interest of this site is how closely the sequence of Middle Iron Age occupation followed by a possible Roman enclosure relates to the Stanway burial site to the south, where a Middle Iron Age ditched domestic enclosure was succeeded by a series of enclosures containing élite Late Iron Age burials, including the 'warrior burial' and the 'doctor’s burial', at Stanway Quarry.