Thursday, June 09, 2011

Roman BInchester: Day Three

Another really constructive day today- we're making real progress already this season. In Trench 1, the most important development was the identification of a new stretch of wall that lies to the east of the barrack block. Pleasingly, this appears to line up with another stretch of wall which has emerged due to the weathering of a previously excavated area. This wall seems to run parallel to the existing structure. I just wonder whether we've actually got a second tier of rooms with the eastern wall of our current structure actually being a central spine wall to a much wider building.

This would make our barrack much more like the kind of cavalry barracks known elsewhere on the wall, such as at Wallsend. It is possible that the western half survived better as it was subsequently re-used in the sub-Roman period, whereas the eastern section fell into disuse. This is still only a hypothesis, but it would explain why our barrack structure appeared so idiosyncratically narrow. Elsewhere in this trench, the big pit still looks like its bottoming out, but intriguingly, we may have another similar feature almost immediately adjacent it. We are also working hard to define the precise stratigraphy of the second, smaller building- does it lie over a patch of cobbles that might be a Roman road surface or are they just part of its foundations?

More at Roman Binchester