Blog

‘tea and talks’ 2018: ‘a good time was had by all’

                    On Saturday (17th February), Trust archaeologists took part in the big ‘tea and talks’ event presented by the Friends of Colchester Archaeological Trust (FCAT) at Lion Walk Church in Colchester town centre. The event was open to FCAT members and members of the public and it was well attended, as usual. This is the chance for the Trust to tell people about some of our projects from the previous year. Trust director Philip, Trust archaeologists Howard Brooks and Laura Pooley, and Trust pottery specialist Steve Benfield presented short illustrated talks [read more…]

Blog

very interesting results from a recent site to the north of Colchester

  On the 20th November ’17, the Trust began an archaeological evaluation on a large site to the north of Colchester. Interestingly, we completed the fieldwork on the 20th December! The site also produced some very interesting results… The evaluation trenching followed by excavation of exposed features revealed a large number of small shallow pits, each containing a charcoal-rich fill but few finds. As the pits show evidence of wood having been burned in them, we have called them ‘fire-pits’. The few finds from the site include part of a Roman pottery vessel, six post-medieval gun-flints, and a modern US [read more…]

Blog

Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club in January 2018

The Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) met here at the Colchester Roman circus visitor centre on Saturday (20th January), for their first meeting of 2018. Colchester YAC organiser Barbara Butler writes: ‘… We tried to envisage millions of years in a timeline. Using the floor space, we made a 250,000,000-year timeline. To fit inside the visitor centre, this had to be on the scale of 10,000 years to 1 millimetre. We used coloured A4 sheets of paper which were approximately 30 centimetres in width. There were 19 YAC members at the meeting, and one of them worked out that we [read more…]

Blog

the first Roman emperor, Augustus Caesar, and the Colchester connection!

On the 16th January in 27 BC, Octavian was declared emperor – with the title of Augustus Caesar – and the Roman republic became the Roman empire. The month of Sextilis was renamed ‘August’ in his honour. Augustus (63 BC-AD 14) was the victor at the famous ancient Battle of Actium in 31 BC. The Mausoleum of Augustus is Augustus’ tomb and he built it in 28 BC on the Campus Martius in Rome: the mausoleum is currently undergoing restoration (an article about it was posted on The Telegraph web-site on the 16th January 2017, ie ‘Giant mausoleum in Rome [read more…]

Blog

the Colchester Archaeological Trust review of 2017

  The Trust enjoyed a very busy and successful 2017, completing the most projects which we have ever undertaken in one year! Our fieldwork projects range from watching briefs, continuous monitoring and recording, and evaluations, to full-scale excavations, but we also conduct historic building recording projects and desk-top (research) studies such as heritage asset assessments and desk-based assessments. Although we are based in Colchester and are the archaeological specialists in Colchester, we have conducted fieldwork as far afield as Acton, Southminster and Much Hadham. We have undertaken projects for a large number of clients ranging from large national companies to [read more…]

Blog

Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club: a Christmassy meeting in December ’17

On Saturday (9th December), the Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) held their final meeting of 2017 here at the Colchester Roman circus centre. Colchester YAC organiser Barbara Butler writes: ‘… On Saturday, the YAC members took the  opportunity to make Christmas cards for their friends and families and also made snowflake Christmas decorations. We had a break half-way through the session for drinks and nibbles, and we all tried to imagine what we might be doing at this time of year in our favourite periods of history. Ideas ranged from preparing a feast in a Tudor kitchen, flint-knapping by the [read more…]

Blog

we haven’t lost our marbles: a modern glass bottle from the former Sergeants’ Mess

Last week, we had something a bit different (to our own archaeological fieldwork projects and finds) here at the Trust’s HQ – when Trust volunteer David uncovered an interesting modern glass bottle while gardening near the fence at the former Sergeants’ Mess, next door to our HQ and the Roman circus visitor centre in Colchester. Our HQ and the former Sergeants’ Mess are both within the former Artillery (Le Cateau) Barracks of the old Colchester garrison, and the site of the Roman circus lies across the gardens of both buildings. The former Sergeants’ Mess was originally the Officers’ Mess of [read more…]

Blog

Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club: November ’17 – fun with Roman mosaics

                      The Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) met here at the Colchester Roman circus centre on Saturday (the 18th November). Colchester YAC organiser Barbara Butler writes: ‘Continuing our recent theme of Roman domestic life in Britain, the Colchester YAC considered what we might like to look at on the mosaic floor of a room in our Roman villa, while our slaves served us with refreshments. Flowers, animals and food were popular decorative themes, and there were some suggestions of battle scenes – however, we thought that these might lead to [read more…]