Progress in cleaning out this mass of heavy material was slow, and the upper levels did not yield much return for the labour involved. A fragment of an inscribed tablet lay near the surface. At eight feet down a human skeleton was exposed. It appeared to be crushed among the stones, the head towards the south. Beside it were a fine bronze pen annular brooch and four small glass beads decorated with gold foil, the latter having evidently formed part of a necklace. Work had been proceeding for some days, and a depth of twelve feet had been reached, when on 14th September, 1905, a hurried message told that an altar was being uncovered. It could be seen from above lying face downward among the black earth, and there was an anxious moment as it was carefully turned over by the men, and the earth cleared from the inscribed face. The possibilities of the great pit had passed into certainties, and the workmen dug on expecting many things from its dark recesses. Beneath the altar was a first brass coin of Hadrian, and in the damp earth, now growing blacker in colour, bones of animals began to make their appearance. Presently the skull of an ox, the Bos Longifrons, and some leather, reached the surface. Several of these skulls, with skulls of horses, pieces of antlers, and many fragments of leather and of broken amphorae, were recovered as the work went on. At twenty feet two fragments of antler, fixed together so as to form a pick-like object, were uncovered. At twenty-two feet was a human skull lying beside portions of scale armour, an iron bar, the necks of two large amphorae, and the bottom of a cup of red ware, the last having the stamp PROBVS, also a portion of a second human skull. At twenty-five feet came a quern stone, two knives (one with its horn handle), a sickle, many pieces of amphorae, fragments of an iron cuirass with brass mountings, a linch pin, and portions of an oak bucket. Bottom was touched on 23rd September. The material taken from the lowest level was carefully washed, when it produced a number of small objects of interest—armour scales of brass, pieces of iron chain-mail, the umbo of a shield, a brass coin of Vespasian, several iron arrow heads, and many nails.

The Inner Courtyard

The outer courtyard was separated from the inner one by a wall, two and a half feet thick. A wide doorway had evidently occupied the centre, as the cobbling of the road that had passed through it was distinctly visible. None of the stonework of the door itself remained. The inner court measured 100 feet long by 30 feet wide. Along its east side, and parallel with the wall dividing it from the outer court, were eight circular settings of cobbles, which had evidently formed the foundations of a series of pillars.