online gallery of our 2012 archaeological display

For the Heritage Open Weekend in September 2012, we set up a display of archaeological finds and materials in our large downstairs room at Roman Circus House. We kept the display so that visitors on our guided tours of the Butt Road car-park excavation site could see it, from October to December. The display has now been cleared away for the renovation of the room for our cafe.

The image shows one end of the display.


However, if you missed the display or would like to see it again, today we have created an online gallery of some of the items (captions below).





a   Decorated Roman samian bowl imported from Gaul in the 2nd century (from Napier Road site).
b   Similar decorated samian bowl with Roman lead rivet repair to an ancient break (from Napier Road site).
c   Sherds of broken Roman pottery (from Colchester).
d  Complete Roman pottery lamp which was deposited with a burial (from garrison Site C2, Napier Road).
e  Roman pottery lamp dating to the 1st century with moulded ‘picture’ top showing a defeated gladiator (from garrison Site J1 North, close to Butt Road).
  Complete Roman counter made from animal bone (from Napier Road site).
g  Complete Roman metal horse-harness fitting found close to the site of the circus (from Napier Road site).
h  Complete Roman metal brooch which was deposited with a burial (from Napier Road site).
i   Group of pottery vessels which were deposited with a Roman burial (from garrison Site C2, Napier Road).
  Late Roman pottery jar or flask used to bury a 3rd-century hoard of coins (from the Hyderabad Barracks site).
k   Roman bowl of 2nd-century date (from garrison Site J1 North, close to Butt Road).
l   Group of late Roman pottery vessels, including decorated vessels from Trier in Germany (centre) and from the Nene Valley in Cambridgeshire (foreground), which were deposited with a burial (from garrison Site C2 on Napier Road).
m   Modern replica of a Roman glass circus cup found at Colchester, which is decorated with a chariot-racing scene.
n    Roman tile with a hoof print made by a wandering animal when the tile was laid out to dry on the ground (from Oxford Road).
o   Large piece of Roman mortar from the surface of a red-painted column (from Circular Road North site).
p   Complete Roman brick (building tile) with three prints, two made by an animal’s paws and one showing the complete outline of the hobnails of a Roman boot, which were imprinted while the tile was drying on the ground (from Oxford Road).

Captions written by Trust archaeologists Steve Benfield and Emma Holloway.

For more information on these finds, go to the relevant site reports in our online archive at