EYO211 - 28-29 High Ousegate




Location 28-29 High Ousegate
Grid reference SE 6035 5167 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire



York Archaeological Trust


August - 2002



Excavation and watching brief of a proposed lift pit recorded significant Roman, Anglian and medieval deposits.NMR Microfilm Index; PRN: 10482. RCHME Microfilm Index Number 10482 First phase of work was a watching brief followed by excavation of the lift pit, total excavated area measured 2.60m by 3m, to a depth of 1.90m from the existing floor level. Following the removal of the concrete floor, the watching brief identified, at approximately 12.00 Above Ordnance Datum (AOD), dumping, a pit and a linear feature running parallel to the western edge of the trench. An area of dumping removed during these works produced large quantities of butchery waste including antler tines, horn cores, and cattle skulls with horn cores still attached, as well as Roman and 11th to 12th century pottery. At the base of these deposits, between c.0.60m to 0.95m below the present basement floor level, more complex and important occupation deposits were revealed, including floor deposits and timber wickerwork. The earliest deposits encountered in the excavation consoste dof a series of banded deposits and occupaiton activity truncated by later pits. These deposits were thought to represent floor layers. recorded at 10.63m-10.86m AOD and may have been Roman in date. Excavation was limited by flooding in the trench. The pits cut through these layers were identified at 11.18m AOD. One pit extended beyond the limit of excavation. This was cut by another pit, apparantly used for cess. Alongside residual Roman pottery and textiles, two late 9th century shoes were recovered. The second piut was in turn truncated by another pit which alo extend beyon the limits of excavation. The fills containe dpottery from the Roman-Anglian period. It may have begun use as a rubbish pit before being used for cess. Wicker fencing was exposed at 11.57m AOD and there was an associated post hole which contained a large upright post probably associated with a structure. This activity was sealed by deposits interrepted as floors and stratigraphically post date the 10th century activity. The upper surface was at 11.52m AOD. These deposits were in turn truncated by further pit digging (11.53m-11.55m AOD). At the northern half of the trench structural activity was represented by a combinaiton of stakes, timber uprights and wickerwork. This indicated the presence of a building and a wicker fence (aligned east-west). Later structural activity was indicated by a post buil wall with associated construction cut and a an assssociated cobble surface, this surface also appeared to relate to the earlier tumber/wicker structures (11.33m-11.48m AOD). Associated with the structural activity was a sequence of pits and deposits that contained 9th-10th century pottery. Changes in the 10th century which posted dates this activity was represented by two cuts, a linear feature (1.86m AOD) ran parallel to the northern edge of the trench. The southern side of the trench identified the basal fills of a pit (upper most deposits at 11.84m AOD). This pit produced residual Roman pottery, a sherd of Anglian potterym remains of disarded wicker fencing, late 10th century potter, wooden stave fragments, animal bone and a Frisian comb. The entire trench was sealed by a deposit (12.07m AOD) of organic silt disturbed by the removal of the modern floor. This produced 10th century pottery and residual Roman CBM and may represent an episode of levelling. It was truncated by a circular post hole with no dating evidence. This small excavation produced an exceptional collection of artefacts of Roman and Anglo-Scandinavian date from the dumps, surfaces, pits and other cut features. The assemblage is exceptional in terms of the range of material types and the quality of the material, which has survived in the waterlogged conditions. The Anglo-Scandinavian material relates to a number of crafts and domestic activities including leather working, textile production, antler-working and food preparation. Personal items including scraps of garments and dress accessories were found. The Roman material is more limited and includes pottery, iron nails and glass fragments. The pottery has a high residual element even in what are believed to be stratified Roman levels.

Sources/Archives (3)

  • --- Unpublished document: YAT. 2002. 28-29 High Ousegate.
  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.
  • --- Unpublished document: York Archaelogical Trust. 2002. 28-29 High Ousegate.

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Record last edited

Oct 27 2020 3:04PM


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