The Church Street Sewer and an Adjacent Building

Item

list of authors
J. B. Whitwell
list of contributors
P. C. Buckland
M. J. Lee
D. P. S. Peacock
A. B. Sumpter
Is Part Of
The Archaeology of York [Series]
The Legionary Fortress [Volume]
volume
03
issue
01
Publisher
Council for British Archaeology for York Archaeological Trust
Date Copyrighted
1976
Date Available
Digitally available on 25 August 2023
Abstract
A Roman sewer system, discovered during building operations in Church Street, York, was examined and partially excavated. The system comprised: a main channel 44 m. long with six side passages running into it; five other channels connected with the main channel; entry points in the roof of the channels and a manhole; and the traces of what may have been a sluice. The channel and passages were vaulted in places, apparently to bear the weight of buildings above. Some channels had been blocked and the flow diverted and there was other evidence of changing use through the Roman period.

The sewer lies within the Roman fortress and close to a legionary bath building excavated in 1930–31; a building adjacent to the sewer, discovered by chance while work was proceeding on the sewer, is thought to have been part of the same legionary bath complex. The building, used successively as a bath and a hypocaust, was 5.56 m. long along the inner face of the only completely excavated wall. Drains for the bath were found. Scattered structures, revealed in mechanical excavation, are also described.

The excavation is discussed in relation to the deposits in the channels, especially in regard to the remains of ancient flora and fauna found in them; this evidence is discussed fully in AY 14/1.

The purpose of the sewer, the way it was operated, the water supply for it and for the fortress are discussed and comparisons drawn with other Roman sanitary systems. The origin and character of the rocks used in the construction of the sewer are described in detail and discussed in relation to the more general use of building stone in Roman York.

The pottery from the sewer was all Roman apart from a small quantity of intrusive 19thcentury ware. Pottery from one sealed channel, probably dating up to the later 2nd century, is analysed in detail. The remainder is summarized and described; it suggests that the sewer system was closed before the end of the 4th century. Finds of glass vessels, intagli, gold, and other ornaments are described in AY 17/1.
Rights Holder
York Archaeological Trust
Rights
CC BY 4.0
Format
Portable Document Format (PDF)
Is Format Of
Paper publication
Identifier
GB2837-PUB-AY-3-1
oclcnum
4200902
isbn10
0900312408
isbn13
9780900312403
Type
Text
Language
English
page start
1
page end
55
number of pages
55

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