Kent Archaeological Review extract

Another Roman Site
In The North Kent Marshes.
by Sydney R Harker.

Acting upon information received from Intelligence HQ at Dover, a visit was recently paid to the sewage disposal works in Denton Marshes east of Gravesend. The object was to investigate the finding of a quantity of Roman pottery handed in by the driver of a mechanical digger carrying out excavation work on the site. This was associated with the installation of two new treatment tanks which were being constructed to the south of the North Kent railway line, roughly 350 metres from the present river defences.

The source of the potsherds, which were of second century date and of good quality, including some samian ware, was clearly apparent in the side of the excavated area. It consisted of a localised dark layer containing occupational debris, sandwiched between two layers of alluvium, the upper 30 centimetres thick of brown silty clay and the lower of soft blue-grey clay. It was established from borehole records that this was five metres thick with occasional pockets of organic peat material. The section suggested a heap rather than a pit and there was no sign of any adjacent structure. Apparently nothing had been noted during the excavation. This suggests that building remains are still there to be found, though in view of the low level relative to the river, it seems unlikely that they will be substantial.

Contact has been made with the Southern Water Authority and it is hoped that any further developments in the area will be notified so that a close archaeological watch can be mounted.

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