In September 2015, CDAS conducted its fifth excavation at Warblington. It was directed by James Kenny, Chichester District Council Archaeologist, acting in a personal capacity as a member of CDAS. The focus was on the western end of the structure whose eastern end we excavated in 2014. The excavation reinforced our earlier conclusion that this was an expensive well-constructed building. The specific items that confirmed our view were:
- Well-built flint walls.
- The discovery of a hypocaust.
- A large number of roman bricks of the size and shape (bessales) used to construct pilae in hypocausts.
- Decorated wall plaster.
- A large number of Purbeck stone roof tiles.
- A voussoir hollow tile used for a vaulted ceiling.
- A segment of a half round brick indicating the presence of columns or pilasters.
In February 2015, English Heritage (now Historic England) conducted a Ground Penetrating Radar survey of the field in which the villa is located. This survey showed a number of responses that had not been picked up by the earlier resistivity survey undertaken by CDAS. One of them, a row of dots, was also investigated during this excavation. It was found to be a row of postholes in which stones had been used to pack the hole around the post. Nearby was a complicated series of ditches that had been cut and re-cut over a very long time. CDAS plan to return to the site in September 2016 to investigate the hypocaust and the ditches more thoroughly.
A general view of trench life, 2015 style, with our extremely useful event shelters in the background.
Below are two interactive 3D models of the Warblington trench. The top one shows the situation after the first week of the dig, the other one shows it on the morning of the last day.
Press the 'play' symbol, then when the model has loaded left mouse click and hold to rotate, right mouse click and hold to pan, mouse scroll wheel (or hold Ctrl + drag) to zoom. Click on any numbered annotations for more information.
A selection of action shots and finds from the 2015 Warblington dig: