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114-119 St. Aldate’s and 4-5 Queen Street, Oxford

Champness, Carl 114-119 St. Aldate’s and 4-5 Queen Street, Oxford. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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In July 2015 Oxford Archaeology undertook an archaeological evaluation for CgMs Consulting as part of preliminary groundworks associated with the redevelopment of 114-119 St Aldate's and 4-5 Queen Street, Oxford. Three test pits were undertaken within the basement of the existing buildings to investigate levels of archaeological preservation at the site. The evaluation revealed the remains of undisturbed late Saxon/early medieval horizons underneath the current basement levels. A series of pits containing domestic waste and demolition material were exposed during the excavations. The possible presence of walls and a compacted gravel surface demonstrates the potential for structural remains to also be present. An absence of clay pipes and modern material suggests that the archaeological horizons may have been sealed in the early post-medieval period. A small assemblage of late Saxon pottery was recovered from later features, an indication that activity from this period may be represented at the site. A fragment potentially from a crucible indicates that small-scale processing of bronze or precious metals may have occurred on the site. The historical records show that several large houses occupied part of the site during this period and formed part of the Jewish quarter of Oxford. The vast majority of the features and deposits revealed during the evaluation date from the 13th-14th century. They include two potential walls, a compacted gravel surface and three rubbish pits. The pottery, animal bone and tile assemblages are predominately domestic in nature and presumably originated from the buildings with frontages on Queen Street and St Aldate's. Rare semi-waterlogged organic remains were recovered from one of these rubbish pits, including food waste, 'cessy' material, mineralised insect remains and a leather shoe. Some of this material is likely to represent domestic rubbish, while stabling waste and/or faecal waste may also be present. The site has good potential to include deposits that contain organic material which could provide an indication of the diet, wealth and living conditions of the site's medieval inhabitants. The site is located within the heart of the Saxon Burh and medieval walled town of Oxford and any archaeological remains are likely to be considered highly archaeologically significant. Wherever possible the proposed foundation designs should try to avoid any impact on the archaeological resource. If the impact levels do exceed the depth of the basement then it is likely to have significant archaeological implications

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Oxfordshire
Period > UK Periods > Early Medieval 410 - 1066 AD
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
ID Code:4887
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:06 Jun 2019 08:02
Last Modified:06 Jun 2019 08:02

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