York University Phase 2

October 2015 | York University

PJO Archaeology was retained by the University of York as consultant for Phase 2 of the new campus development at Heslington East and for the publication stage of the project. Phase 2 work involved producing a second revision of the Archaeological Remains Management Plan. On the basis of this a project design and brief were produced for excavations on the line of a road at the eastern end of the site in an area previously shown by evaluation to have high archaeological potential. The excavation by On Site Archaeology began in August 2010 and were completed in October 2011. It was focused on an ancient spring line which was actively managed from the Bronze Age to the early Roman period. Amongst the finds have been parts of two alder wood well linings of the Bronze Age and substantial timber posts, possibly associated with a Roman well head. Two other Roman wells were lined with timber stakes and re-used stone blocks. A complex series of ditched enclosures represent a late Roman field system. 

In an adjacent part of the site a training dig run by the University Department of Archaeology worked on a Roman farmstead with timber structures, ovens, kilns and a very substantial stone-lined well. A solid, square cobbled base may have supported a mausoleum from which the stone blocks in the superstructure were then reused for well linings. A small group of Roman burials was found nearby.

A final stage of the project in 2014 has involved research into the geomorphology of a lowlying part of the site. In advance of the construction of a velodrome, deposits have been examined in an area of wetland used by early prehistoric settlers.

PJO Archaeology has been involved in managing the assessment and reporting process in association with the Department of Archaeology which is now working on the final report. 

Patrick Ottaway  

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