Printed from the APC web site: navigation and non-essential images removed.
Please view on-line for full content (URL at end of document).
Two open area archaeological excavations, targeted localised excavation, a borehole survey and several schemes of watching brief were undertaken by Field Archaeology Specialists Ltd in the grounds of Fishergate House and at Blue Bridge Lane (NGR SE 6060 5100), located to the south of the city of York, adjacent to the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss. Fieldwork was carried out intermittently between July 2000 and August 2004, with the main excavation seasons taking place in the autumn of 2000 and in the autumn and winter of 2001. A total of thirty-four interventions were undertaken across both sites.
|1||evaluation trench||5m x 2m evaluation trench adjacent to Blue Bridge Lane|
|2||evaluation trench||2m x2m evaluation trench to the west of Mecca Bingo|
|3||evaluation trench||2m x 2m evaluation trench adjacent to Fishergate (south)|
|4||evaluation trench||2m x 2m evaluation trench adjacent to Fishergate (north)|
|5||evaluation trench||8m x 2m evaluation trench|
|6||evaluation trench||2m x 2m evaluation trench in car park of Mecca Bingo|
|7||evaluation trench||2m x 2m evaluation trench in car park of Mecca Bingo|
|8||evaluation trench||2m x 2m evaluation trench in car park of Mecca Bingo|
|9||evaluation trench||2m x 2m evaluation trench in car park of Mecca Bingo|
|10||evaluation trench||2m x 2m evaluation trench in car park of Mecca Bingo (west)|
|11||evaluation trench||1m x 1m evaluation trench in northern passageway of Mecca Bingo|
|12||evaluation trench||1m x 1m evaluation trench in northern passageway of Mecca Bingo|
|13||evaluation trench||1m x 1m evaluation trench in northern passageway of Mecca Bingo|
|14||evaluation trench||1m x 1m evaluation trench inside Mecca Bingo building|
|15||excavation||60m x 15m excavation of footprint of proposed new Bingo Hall between beam gridlines E and G|
|16||excavation||2m x 2m excavation of footprint of pile cap|
|17||excavation||2m x 2m excavation of footprint of pile cap|
|18||excavation||2m x 2m excavation of footprint of pile cap|
|19||excavation||2m x 2m excavation of footprint of pile cap|
|20||excavation||1m x 1m excavation of engineering testpit|
|21||excavation||2m x 1m excavation of engineering testpit|
|22||excavation||22m x 6.5m excavation of footprint of proposed new Bingo Hall between beam gridlines B7 and B11|
|23||excavation||12m x 3m excavation of footprint and cable trench of new electricity substation|
|24||excavation||6m x 2m excavation of footprint of beam gridline A (between A1 and A2)|
|25||excavation||23m x 2m excavation of footprint of beam gridline A (between A7 and A11)|
|26||watching brief||watching brief of geotechnical borehole investigation of 14 boreholes across western part of site|
|27||evaluation||five 1m x 1m evaluation trenches excavated along proposed access road to evaluate archaeological deposits|
|28||watching brief||4m x 4m limited archaeological excavation of southern end of proposed access road|
|29||watching brief||watching brief on construction of new drainage along Fishergate frontage and northern passageway|
|30||borehole survey||borehole investigation in location of proposed manholes|
|1||excavation||8m x 7m excavation of footprint of proposed road access with extensions for full skeletons as appropriate|
|2||excavation||13.7m x 1.6m-3.4m excavation of footprint on new stair access with extensions for full skeletons as appropriate|
|3||building recording||photographic recording of pre-fabricated buildings adjacent to Fishergate|
|4||watching brief||watching brief on construction of new service network throughout grounds of Fishergate House, with extensions for full skeletons as appropriate. Included monitoring of new retaining wall along Blue Bridge Lane|
The excavation and recording system employed during fieldwork is based on a set of principles known as Field Research Procedure (Carver 1999). This recording system structures excavation data in a hierarchical system. Each stratigraphic unit defined during excavation which is considered to have been formed by a single deposition is called a 'context'. Where appropriate, contexts are grouped during excavation as 'features', and similarly, features into groups called 'structures'. Separate indices are maintained for contexts, features and structures and each unit has a structured pro-forma recording sheet to be completed using a system of keywords. Indices of photographic recording, samples and drawings are compiled and cross-referenced with the context and feature indices. For Blue Bridge Lane and Fishergate House, separate context and features indices were maintained, and for Blue Bridge Lane, allocation of numbers continued from the sequence begun during evaluation. Since this resulted in duplicate feature and context numbers between sites, those from Fishergate House are suffixed with an 'F' and likewise, those from Blue Bridge Lane with a 'B' (in the few instances where it was necessary, those from Marlborough Grove have been suffixed with an 'M'). All structure numbers were allocated post-excavation and consequently, both sites share this index.
In addition to the hierarchical recording system, predetermined recovery levels were employed ranging from Recovery Level A to E, representing increasing levels of investment and intensity of investigation. For the purposes of feature excavation, Recovery Level C was predetermined and applied during fieldwork. This recovery level consists of coarse trowel definition, finds recovery by context and optional sampling - in this case, in accordance with the predetermined environmental sampling strategy. Contexts required an outline plan and full description, while features required an outline plan, full description, half-section drawing and photography and post-excavation plan and photography; structures were not identifiable until completion of the post-excavation programme. With limited exceptions (i.e. features and deposits of secure modern date), this strategy was employed and maintained during excavation, producing broadly comparable data sets.
The Ordnance Survey National Grid and Ordnance Survey Datum were used for recording purposes. All coordinates and alignments expressed in this report refer to the Ordnance Survey grid. All plans and sections were either hand-drawn to a scale of 1:10 or surveyed using a Total Station Theodolite and drawn digitally with a pen-computer. A full photographic record was compiled consisting of 35mm colour and monochrome photography.
A systematic regime of environmental sampling was designed and implemented prior to excavation at Blue Bridge Lane. At Fishergate House, non-burial features, which were rich in animal bone, were 100% coarse-sieved and primary deposits were sampled for flotation. The on-site identification of secondary and primary deposits is integral to the hierarchical recording system employed by FAS and was key to the implementation of the following methodology.
The following regime was applied to primary or primary refuse deposits only. A 100 litre sample of each primary or primary refuse deposit was subject to fine-mesh sieving on a 2 millimetre mesh processed with hosed water. In addition to this, a 30 litre sample was recovered for flotation using a Sirãf tank. Of these, 20 litres were processed by FAS on-site (using 500 micron mesh to capture the dense fraction and 250 micron mesh for the light fraction). If, after processing, the deposit was considered to have good environmental potential, i.e. visible uncharred organic remains and invertebrates, 10 litres were retained for paraffination. The remainder of each deposit was subject to 100% coarse-sieving on a 1cm mesh processed with hosed water, with the exception of deposits where fish bone was noted, in which cases the assemblage was retrieved by flotation.
It was recognised that the above sampling regime would enhance the recovery of fragmentary or small artefacts, notably early medieval coins, glass vessel fragments or objects and craft-working residues. In some cases, a sieving regime was implemented for deposits of insecure status to enhance the recovery of dateable material, since vertical stratigraphy was virtually absent and many features were simply cut into subsoil. This regime was implemented at the Fieldwork Supervisor's discretion.
The environmental regime produced massive quantities of dense fraction residues, which were hand-sorted. Dry residues were sieved through a stack consisting of 5mm and 2mm mesh, producing three further fractions (>5mm, <5mm and <2mm). Each fraction was then weighed. The coarse fraction was rapidly sorted for large bulk finds and small finds. The two smaller fractions were sorted exhaustively for identifiable remains of small vertebrates, and then scanned with a magnet to recover micro-slags.