Tyne and Wear HER(13313): Newcastle, vicus - Details
Archaeological excavations in 2008 on the BEMCO site in Clavering Place recorded Roman gullies on a north-south alignment under the medieval friary church (HER 1427 and 1428). A Roman road was found which probably led from the Roman bridge up the slope to the west gate of Pons Aelius fort. There were wide ditches to either side and on one side two layers of cobbles forming a narrow raised footpath. The fill of the ditch next to the road contained pottery dating from the beginning of the 2nd century to 270 AD. A pot containing a cremation was found along with some empty pots. A Samian pot had been used as a lid for the cremation. A stone lined pit and crude drains were recorded. A circular well had a lower lining of timber. One oak plank was curved and had a peg hole to fix it to the well. Another well had a timber lined shaft. Finds included a seal, pottery and a glass bead. Two stone coffins were found alongside the road, with room for a third. The coffins would have been above ground so were sealed with waterproof cement. The first coffin seal had failed which had led to water ingress and poor bone preservation. An adult knee and child molars were all that survived. The second coffin lid was still held on by iron pegs held in place by molton lead. This was the coffin of a wealthy lady as shown by the jet hair pin found next to the pillow. The two coffins were different sizes and of different manufacture. A lead filligree, some mineralised textile and a collection of jet tube beads were recovered from the coffins.
Richard Annis, Archaeological Services Durham University, 2009, lecture to Northumberland Archaeological Group