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THE FINDS. The pottery found in the Prætorium was all in a very fragmentary condition. Owing to the work being carried on so late in the year, and want of accommodation, none of the finds have as yet been carefully examined, but a later report will appear, with drawings and photographs. All that can be said now is that the pottery was mostly of a late date.
Samian.—Only one fragment of decorated ware, in the shape of a head of a lion, which was evidently the spout of a vessel. It belongs to a late period. A fair amount of undecorated Samian, mostly vessels of about 5 in. high.
Black Ware, sometimes called Upchurch Ware.-This was the most common pottery found, and was perhaps for kitchen use. This ware was found in two shapes(a) Jars (or Olla). We find that these were mostly
( of the second and third centuries.
(b) Shallow dishes, 24 in. to 3 in. high, and about 6 in. across, possibly cooking-pots for vegetables, etc.
Coarse-grained white ware in shape of shallow dishes. Shape called “mortarium,” mostly of an uncommon shape, the ridges at the top being different from those usually met with.
Iron.—The most common objects of iron found are nails, especially in the Prætorium, with the exception of the outer court. They vary in length from 1 in. to 6 in., and have all large heads. What seems to be the bolt of a door was found in the inner court; also the blade of a knife or dagger, and the handle possibly of a sword.
Lead.-A quantity of lead was found scattered all over the Prætorium. It is possible that a great deal was used in the construction of this building, but it may have been removed when the paving and dressed stones were taken away for building materials and road making
Bronze.—A certain amount of bronze in a very decomposed state, a few fibulæ, one in the shape of a dolphin, five large coins (two of Antoninus Pius) and several ornaments in the form of bracelets.
Silver. - One silver coin of Antoninus.
Wood.—A large quantity of decomposed wood, especially in the post-holes. There were two kinds of post-holes.
(a) Those in N. and S. corridors consisted of one large stone, whilst stones on end were placed round to keep the post in position, at Gellygaer. These are not sunk on to solid, but occur in the stamped clay.
(b) The remainder are holes sunk from i ft. to 2 ft. into solid clay, with a large stone at the bottom.
Glass.- A certain amount of window-glass, especially in Rooms 10 and 11, in fairly large quantities; also various portions of glass vessels, generally of a square pattern. A portion of a fluted beaker, similar to the one described by Mr. Ward, found at Gellygaer, and a portion of a ribbed vessel. Also small glass counters or draughtsmen.
Stone Implements.—A portion of a quern and a mortar ; an implement resembling a pestle, and a large quoit-like stone, two smaller ones, presumed to be weights, and numerous sling stones.
At the entrance to the Prætorium is the usual open paved court surrounded with corridors, with a large number of brick and pillar-stones. Beneath the pavement there was 8 in. of gravel and 4 in, of clay. In the centre of the court, on the northern half, are the remains of a drain running from the centre to the main drain. This does not appear on the other side of the court, but, owing to the extreme difficulty of tracing these drains, it is probable that it existed on that site in Roman times.
The walls on the N. side of the road leading to the Sacellum were in a more or less good condition, those on the S. were good, but the W. wall had been robbed down to the foundation. We came upon a foundation
of one pillar in the S. E. corner, and what was perhaps a square pilaster on the S. side of the road.
On the S. E. corner is an excellent example of the base of a pillar. It is built on good foundations. At
Castell Collen : Base of Pillar South-east Corner, Outer Court the base is a square of stones 2 ft. square ; on this is laid a 2-in. cottise of tiles, and then follow two courses of pillar-stones, ten to twelve in a course. The wall seems as if it had been built into the pillar, and it is probable that the pillars formed a colonnade : then, as at Housesteads and elsewhere, the corridors were built up to form rooms. It is possible that these pillars did not rise to any great height.
On the S. court, 2 ft. from the entrance, a small semi-circular base, i ft. 9 in. long and 2 ft. broad, was found. It had large foundations, one layer of pillarstones lying at the base. A small piece of moulding, 2 in. broad, might have been the border of an ivscription, and the erection was possibly a stand for a statue.
The finds on the S. side comprise a few fragments of pottery, the top of a jar (amphora), some quoit-like stones (possibly baluster stones or weights), a quantity of lead, which had evidently been in contact with fire, and a few fragments of moulded slabs. Two of these were found in loose earth, and look like wall linings. The largest piece is so broad, and the mouldings so shallow, that it could not have been the border of an inscription.
The finds on the N. side were fewer, and comprise ordinary pottery, and an iron knife 6 in. long.
In this court were found very little signs of wood, and very few nails, but these appeared elsewhere in large quantities; they varied from 6 in. to 2 in., with a few of 1 in. made with big heads.
The N.E. corridor was floored with i ft. of gravel, and here, as in the other corridors, were a large number of flue-tiles, and one post-hole, with one single stone, 2 ft. below ground level, 7 ft. from the N. wall.
The most important find was an inscribed stone.
On the top line the letters p'. p'. were very clearly cut in letters 3 in. long. Then came the portion of a letter, probably a c, below was the letter A, and before this was a much mutilated letter, possibly A or M. All the letters were beautifully sculptured.
The N. corridor had a floor of 1 ft. 6 in. of stamped clay. There were the remains of at least two postholes, possibly three. These post-holes, both in the N. and S. courts, are unlike the other post-holes found in the Prætorium, the latter were simply holes driven into the original clay, with a large stone at the bottom. But the former consist of a stone sunk 6 in, or 8 in. into the stamped clay about 1 ft. square, surrounded with a number of stones set up on end to keep the butt of the post in position. They may have been placed to give an additional support to the roof, or all these post-holes may have formed part of an earlier wooden Prætorium.
The support at the W. end is of rather a different character, consisting of one upright stone, with two stones set on end, and one stone at the base, possibly a door-catch.
The floor of the N.W. corridor was 3 in. of gravel over 10 in. of stamped clay. At the S. end was a post-hole, which may have been used as a door post.
, The floor of the S. corridor was composed of 15 in. of clay and gravel, mixed. A row of post-holes corresponded to those on the opposite side, except that in this case the builders had made use of huge boulders, whose ends stand 8 ft. out of the natural ground. A drain, already described, runs down the N. side.
The finds were:-a small bronze coin (P. Antoninus I) and a small amount of pottery.
A small post-hole 11 ft. E. of buttress near the outer wall, between this and the buttress a large amount of charcoal or decomposed wood under the clay.