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Area B, July 2009; Latest news from Area B
Topic Started: Jul 21 2009, 05:18 PM (606 Views)
David Ingham
Member
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Just as things were getting interesting, Area B reverted to type.
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David Ingham
Member
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After going round in circles for the last few weeks, Area B is starting to make a bit more sense. Just when we'd finally given up on it, the northern side of the gateway has turned up, but it now looks more likely to be the western gate to the Antonine 'military annex' than the Period II/III fort. It's a narrow, single gate that's less than 3m wide, so it would have been a tight squeeze as the main entrance to a fort containing 1000 soldiers. There's a stone-lined roadside drain on the southern side of the road that runs through the gateway, but it's not certain yet whether it was contemporary with the gateway - the road was resurfaced at least once.

At least two courses survive of the southern gate respond, complete with the gate pivot, but it looks as though just the foundations are left on the northern side.
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David Ingham
Member
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The line of stones heading south from the gateway have now gone back to being the base of a rampart ... though they might have been re-used for vicus buildings as well. The wall of yellow sandstone running perpendicular to them is probably the southern side of the southern gate tower. At least two courses of the rampart base survive - we were just starting to expose them when the heavens opened...

Apart from the stone structures in this part of Area B, there are also floor surfaces and possible post-pits associated with timber buildings at the northern end of the trench. They're under rather a lot of water at the moment, though...
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David Ingham
Member
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Can't complain too much about the weather, Matt - it's been so dry this season up until now that we've already got as much done in Area B as we did over the whole of last year! The monsoon season has arrived late in 2009. Having some nice masonry in the trench has made a nice change - hopefully things won't get too bogged down again with cobbles as the trench heads westwards for the rest of the season.
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