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Archaeologists are rediscovering the medieval manor of Court De Wyck

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Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology are conducting a project to rediscover the medieval manor of Court De Wyck.

The researchers are excavating on the outskirts of the village of Claverham in North Somerset, England. During the medieval period, a settlement recorded in the Domesday Survey of AD 1086 consisted of two hamlets: Claverham and Week.

The latter was primarily centred around the manor of Court De Wyck, named after the De Wyck family, which was founded in the 12th century by the Bishop of Bath and Wells.

According to several historical accounts, remnants of the manor persisted in some form until 1815, when it was ultimately demolished due to a fire leaving only a chapel and the tithe barn and stables.

19th century drawing plan by Mrs Betts

Little contemporary evidence survives regarding the layout of the manor, however, the researchers have been able to use a hand-drawn sketch plan by a Mrs Betts from the 19th century to aid in their excavations.

According to an announcement by Cotswold Archaeology: “The plan shows a range of buildings, including the chapel, positioned along the north, east, and west sides of a large courtyard, with an entrance to the south, and the chapel and other rooms to the north. From this plan, which turned out to be impressively accurate, we were able to use the location of the extant chapel to orient ourselves on the ground.”

During their excavations, the archaeologists uncovered a north/south orientated stone wall on the same alignment as the courtyard wall of the manorial complex (as shown on the 19th century drawing plan), and potentially representing the remains of one of the western walls of the manor or its chapel.

To the south, the researchers discovered the remnants of a significant east-west stone wall, which stood at nearly 2 meters in height. This wall seems to indicate a later development of what was originally thought to be a “moat.” In reality, this “moat” is more likely a substantial boundary ditch and could have served as a precursor to the boundary wall identified in the southern section of the excavation site.

In the northern part of the excavation area below the north/south wall are the foundations of an even earlier building, evidenced by ceramics that indicate a potential date from the 13th–14th century.

Excavations also found two perpendicular Roman ditches with Southeast Dorset and Southwest Black Burnished Ware ceramics, a fragment of boxed flue tile which was an essential part of the heating system of Roman buildings.

Cotswold Archaeology

Header Image Credit : Cotswold Archaeology

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Archaeology

Trove of Roman objects linked to feasting found at Ostia antica

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Archaeologists have uncovered a trove of Roman objects linked to ritual feasting at Ostia antica.

Ostia Antica is an ancient harbour town located at the mouth of the Tiber River. The harbour served as the main port for Rome, transporting goods and people from the coast along the Via Ostiensis.

Archaeologists recently excavated the area of Regio I – Insula XV, a “sacred area” or precinct housing several temples and sanctuaries. At the centre is the temple of Hercules,  a 31 x 16 metre monument which dates from the Republican Era.

Excavations have revealed a substantial well situated at the base of the temple of Hercules. Upon draining the well, it was discovered to hold a significant collection of objects dating from the 1st to 2nd century AD.

Among the objects are various ceramics, miniatures, lamps, glass containers, fragments of marble, and burnt animal bones (pigs and cattle). According to the archaeologists, the trove corresponds with ritual feasting associated with cult at the temple.

In a press statement by the Ministry of Culture: “The discovery of burnt bones confirms that animal sacrifices were carried out in the sanctuary, while the common ceramics, also bearing traces of fire, indicate that the meat was cooked and consumed during banquets in honour of divinity. The remains of one or more ritual meals were thrown into the well, the last ones probably when their function had ceased.”

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Culture

Sources : Ministry of Culture

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Labyrinthine structure discovered from the Minoan civilisation

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Archaeologists have discovered a monumental labyrinthine structure on the summit of Papoura Hill in Crete.

The discovery was made during the installation of a radar system in preparation for the construction of a new airport in the area.

According to experts, the structure dates from between 2000 to 1700 BC shortly before or at the start of the palaeopalatial Minoan period.

The Minoan civilisation was a Bronze Age culture that emerged on the island of Crete around 3100 BC. The culture is known for the monumental architecture and energetic art, and is often regarded as the first civilisation in Europe.

Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

The chronology of the Minoans is characterised into three distinct phases – Early Minoan (EM), Middle Minoan (MM), and Late Minoan (LM).

The palaeopalatial structure is part of the MMI – II grouping in the Middle Minoan, a period in which the first palaces were built and saw the development of the Minoan writing systems, Cretan hieroglyphic and Linear A.

The structure comprises of 8 concentric stone rings that converge on a central circular building. The entire diameter of the complex measures 48 metres and covers an area of approximately 1800 square metres.

Within the central structure are four designated zones in which radial walls intersect vertically and form a labyrinthine structure. Zones A and B appear to be have the main concentration of human activity, evidenced by the presence of large amounts of animals bones.

According to the experts, this residential area likely had a truncated cone or vaulted appearance and is the first monument of this type excavated in Crete. It can perhaps be paralleled with the elliptical MM building of the Chamezi Archaeological Site, as well as with the so-called circular proto-Hellenic cyclopean building of Tiryns.

The Minister of Culture, said: “This is a unique and highly significant find. Solutions are in place to ensure the completion of the archaeological research and the protection of the monument.”

Header Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

Sources : Greek Ministry of Culture

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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