Environmental Evidence from the Colonia: General Accident and Rougier Street

Item

list of authors
A. R. Hall
H. K. Kenward
Is Part Of
The Archaeology of York [Series]
The Past Environment of York [Volume]
volume
14
issue
06
Publisher
Council for British Archaeology for York Archaeological Trust
Date Copyrighted
1990
Date Available
Digitally available on 24 November 2023
Abstract
The results of analyses of a wide variety of animal and plant remains from Roman and medieval deposits from excavations at the General Accident Extension site (24-30 Tanner Row, 1983-4.32) and 5 Rougier Street (1981.12) are discussed. Both sites lay close to the River Ouse, in or near the heart of the presumed Roman colonia. The very large corpus of material available was examined using techniques which maximised the amount of useful archaeological and biological information for minimum expenditure of resources, and this study has served as a trial for this kind of approach to urban archaeological deposits. At General Accident, there was progressive change through the 2nd and 3rd centuries, from an initial area of disturbed vegetation traversed by ditches to complete urbanisation. At various stages, there was deposition of organic and other layers containing grazing land plants, representing hay and/or large herbivore dung. The balance of evidence suggests stabling of horses nearby. There was evidence, too, for utilisation of raised-bog peat and perhaps also heathland vegetation or turf. A rich assortment of foodstuffs was recorded, from amongst both the plant and animal remains, indicating aspects of trade and exploitation of the local environment. Grain pests were consistently present. Other pests included fleas, lice, intestinal parasites, rats and mice. In the post-Roman period, the evidence from the General Accident site was usually rather scanty, the bulk of the many pits recorded apparently being used as cess pits. The few deposits of Anglo-Scandinavian date showed a marked similarity to those from sites across the river - notably in the absence of grain pests and the presence of dye plants. At Rougier Street, deposits of Roman and medieval date were essentially similar in their fauna and flora to those from General Accident. There was, however, a massive deposit of charred and uncharred cereal grain, from late 2nd century levels, predominantly well-cleaned spelt wheat. The implications of the results of these analyses are treated chronologically and synthetically.
Rights Holder
York Archaeological Trust
Rights
CC BY 4.0
Format
Portable Document Format (PDF)
Is Format Of
Paper publication
Identifier
GB2837-PUB-AY-14-6
oclcnum
23968432
isbn10
090678090X
isbn13
9780906780909
Type
Text
Language
English
page start
289
page end
434
number of pages
146

Position: 150 (26 views)