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CANONIUM

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  CANONIVM, KELVEDON
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The site of a Roman and Iron Age settlement at Kelvedon. Excavations have been carried out for some years, showing the existence of a very extensive Iron Age and Romano-British settlement. There seems to be no real doubt that this is the site of Canonium, a small road side settlement which, by virtue of its convenient position on the Chelmsford-Colchester road, served as a resting place for travellers and perhaps as a station for the Imperial post. There is slight evidence of Mesolithic to Bronze Age occupation but much more substantial signs of a thriving Iron Age community, including a 90 metres long length of ditch interpreted as a major Iron Age field boundary. This may have had a short life and was allowed to silt up shortly after the Conquest. In the Flavian period there was great industrial activity on the site, particularly in the form of iron smelting and bronze working. The main settlement seems to have been along the south side of the main road, where there is evidence of at least one substantial building with masonry foundations and the site of a temple complex is also known. Much of the area of the Iron Age settlement later became a Romano-British cremation and inhumation cemetery, running through the second, third and probably fourth centuries. More than 80 burials were discovered. The settlement has now been almost entirely covered by the later Medieval town.

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