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HARLOW Essex, England.

The site, 33.5 km NE of London and known for its temple, lies on a low hill in the valley of the river Stort and seems to have been sacred as early as the Belgic period; 79 pre-Roman coins, mainly of Tasciovanus and Cunobelin, have been recovered from below the temple and its vicinity although no structure could be identified. Later the hill was surrounded by a ditch to form the temenos, and a masonry temple of Romano-Celtic type was erected on the summit. The cella was 7.4 m square with a surrounding portico 16.4 m overall. The entrance lay to the SE; at a later date it was flanked by wings, each containing a small room with a tessellated floor. On the axis of the approach stood an altar base; nearby and possibly derived from it lay an inscribed fragment of stone dedicated NVM]INI A[VG—to the divinity of the emperor.

Some 7 m N of the temple part of an outer portico has been traced: this probably surrounded the temple on all sides to form an inner temenos. Like many pagan shrines in Britain the temple reached its greatest prosperity in the 4th c.; the building itself was probably erected late in the 3d c., and the problem of continuity from the pre-Roman period is best explained by the previous existence of a sacred grove on the summit of the hill.


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