The Finds

Composite picture of the mosaic floorComposite picture of the mosaic floorMosaic floors were found in the later building on the site, a wealthy ‘town house’ set back from the road on a levelled terrace cut deep into the hillside.

The style of the mosaics has helped date the building to the middle of the 4th century AD.

The surface of the floors had been ground to a fine smooth polish. It is very unusual to find floors with such a high degree of finish in the region and suggests that the owner of the house was a man of substance.

Years later the building had fallen into disrepair and open fires were laid on the beautiful mosaic floors, leaving their scorch marks as evidence.

The mosaics were carefully lifted so that they can one day be put on display.

The 'knot' motifThe 'knot' motif
Excavating the mosaicExcavating the mosaicRecording the mosaic in-situRecording the mosaic in-situ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Walls

Fragments of painted plasterFragments of painted plaster Many pieces of both plain and decorated wall plaster were recovered from the site. Fragments of plaster with a wide range of colours and designs came from the area of the later building, adding to our picture of a handsome town house, with principal rooms decorated with painted walls and mosaic floors.

Panel designs are the most common form of plaster decoration found in Britain. Pigments were made from chalk, soot, and natural stones and earths. The colour was either applied to wet plaster (fresco), or mixed with a medium such as egg white, beeswax or animal glue (tempera), to make it stick to the surface.

Ring with intaglioRing with intaglio

Rings

Members of metal detecting clubs in Weymouth, Stour Valley and Yeovil helped to search the site. Amongst the metal finds were coins and rings.

One of the 13 rings had an intaglio (a carved or engraved gem) in the form of a human figure, made from translucent, dark blue glass. It probably dates from the early 1st or 2nd century AD.

 

A selection of Roman coinsA selection of Roman coins

Coins

Coins found on site span the entire Roman period in Britain from the 1st to the 5th century AD. The dates of the coins and the places where they were found are very useful in showing us how the site developed and when different parts of it were in use.

The largest number of coins was found in the barn or warehouse, where they had been hidden at the beginning of the 5th century AD.

Hairpins

Bone pinsBone pins

These beautiful hairpins were carved from animal bone. Pins with intricate designs like these would have been expensive and highly prized. The pins found on the site span the period of Roman Britain but the largest number date from the second and third centuries AD.

Lamp

This little oil lamp is made from colour-coated ware (the hardened clay is dipped in coloured slip before firing). It comes from the earlier building on the site, one of the houses bordering the western side of the street.

The handle by which it was once carried is now broken, as are the small lugs on either side which held cords to suspend it when lit. The face decoration above the oil chamber is just visible.

Roman oil lampRoman oil lampRoman oil lampRoman oil lamp

 

 

 

 

 

Seal Box

This little seal box probably dates from the 2nd or 3rd century AD. It is made of copper alloy. Seal boxes were used to protect official documents or personal letters. A cord was wrapped around the document and through the holes in the sides of the box. It was secured with sealing wax poured into the box and stamped with a seal (probably from a finger ring).

Roman Seal Box (front)Roman Seal Box (front)Roman Seal Box (back)Roman Seal Box (back)