Meon Valley Archaeology & Heritage Group

EXCAVATION JULY 2019

Following 4 weeks of digging in July, the headline news from the excavation site is the discovery of a Roman mausoleum. The new trench opened this year, known as ‘Trench 3’, was proving to be something of an enigma during the excavation. Artefacts discovered ranged from Iron Age pottery to a Victorian coin in the ‘ditch’ area. The flint platform was of typical Roman construction, but what was it used for? It was upon the discovery of human bones and a couple of dozen Roman roof tiles that led dig director Professor Tony King to confirm that this structure is a Roman mausoleum.

Aerial view of Trench 3, photo Ian Harris

Detail of bath house rooms with hypocaust tiles in situ, photo Ian Harris

 

Over in the temple area, the cranium of a young horse was discovered very close to the centre of the hexagon, where last year’s mare and foal skeletons were unearthed. This enhances the theory of this area being a shrine with offerings made to the goddess Epona. Further rooms of the bath house were defined alongside evidence of a hypocaust. At the prehistoric site, domestic artefacts were found to support the hypothesis of a Neolithic settlement here, together with a possible Anglo-Saxon cremation.

Barrow site: possible Anglo-Saxon cremation pit (below)

Unearthing the cranium of a horse (below)

Typical finds from the Iron Age trench (below)

Showing visitors finds at the Open Day (below)

Tony King showing visitors the bath house at the Open Day (below)