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MONUMENT NO. 374280

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The buried remains of a Romano-British temple complex located within an arable field on the sloping hillside on the east side of the River Cam. The central building was discovered in 1847 and excavated under the direction of the Hon RC Neville, who incorrectly interpreted the remains as part of a Roman villa. He exposed the foundations of a square cella about 7 metres in width, surrounded by a ambulatory. The remains of two elaborate mosaic floors were found within this structure. The re-excavation of the temple in 1978 provided far greater details of the date and evolution of the structure. Evidence was found of a small Late Iron Age ditched enclosure and structure, similar in outline to the temple and probably a precursor to the Romanised building which was erected on the same spot in the period AD 60-90. The temple, with walls of mortared flint and tiled roof, remained in use throughout the later first and early second centuries. The building is thought to have been abandoned in the mid-second century and allowed to decay until major refurbishment took place between AD 280-370. The restored structure remained in use until the late fourth century. Pits and hollows of various sizes were found throughout the excavated areas, but a small excavation in the south western corner of the precinct revealed a distinct concentration of pits containing accumulations of ash, animal bone, oyster shells and pottery. These are thought to have been used for the disposal of waste from religious feasts which appear, from the evidence of animal remains, to have coincided with the culling of lambs in the spring and autumn. Other ritual activities are indicated by the large number of votive offerings including coins, brooches and other items of personal adornment. The most spectacular object related to the religious nature of the site is a silver mask with Celtic-type lentoid eyes and moustache, discovered during the 1978 excavations. Scheduled.

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