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ECCLES Kent, England.

The site of the Roman villa lies on the E bank of the river Medway, ca. 8 km S of the Roman town of Rochester (Durobrivae) and 6.4 km N of the reputed settlement at Maidstone. Excavations were begun in 1962.

A system of ditches, probably for irrigation, indicates the first occupation ending ca. A.D . 55, with the building of a small granary and other buildings which, in A.D. 65, were superseded and/or incorporated in the construction of the first baths and dwelling, containing several rooms with tessellated and mosaic floors. After the burning of these baths, ca. A.D. 120, a new bath house and extensions to the dwelling were built, and continued in use until ca. A.D. 180; a third and more extensive bath suite was then erected, and the house once more remodeled by the addition of a rear corridor and new tessellations, as well as a new wing with a channeled hypocaust. A final reconstruction took place after ca. A.D. 290, when the rear corridor was converted into a suite of rooms with hypocaust.

The size of the villa (so far, 135 rooms of various periods are known) and its early foundation suggest the possibility of some official connection between its owners and the Roman provincial government.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

A. P. Detsicas, “Excavations at Eccles, 1962,” Archaeologia Cantiana 78 (1963) 125-41, and following volumes.

A. P. DETSICAS

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