12 Jul 2014

Festival of Archaeology 2014, Cedars Park, Day 1

trenches 2 and 3

It isn't often that we lay out a trench on a brand-new and unknown target, and hit the jackpot straight away -- but today that appears to be exactly what we have done!

The rubble we began to see yesterday did indeed peel off to reveal wall foundations projecting at right angles from the surviving palace garden wall. Two more trenches and an extension to trench one followed this wall east and west, revealing a dense demolition layer to its north and a short length of wall projecting south from about a third along its revealed length.

copper alloy buckle

The bricks and construction of the revealed walls are consistent with the seventeenth century garden feature we are looking for, as were many of the varied and interesting finds that came out of much of the rubble -- including a very well preserved copper alloy buckle (pictured), a 17th/18th century tobacco pipe bowl, many glass and ceramic fragments and a few large animal bones.

trench 1
The ?loggia wall runs left to right -- the short stub is under the thick roots in the background

We are provisionally speculating that the short stub of wall perpendicular to the main length of wall is the base of an arch or similar feature within the enclosure. If we can prove that this is indeed the feature marked on the 1611 plan (see yesterday's post) then this will be an important step in understanding the feature's appearance and function.

Our main job now is to consolidate the dating evidence for the walls. Severe tree root disturbance has made it difficult to be certain about the stratification of some of the finds so far -- what we would like to see is a construction cut for the wall with datable and well stratified finds -- looking for this will be a job for tomorrow.

Though the weather held for today, tomorrow's forecast looks more unsettled, so we hope this won't hinder our so far excellent progress.


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