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Grand Arcade, Cambridge: An Archaeological Excavation. Vol 1 & 2


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Excavations undertaken by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit at the Grand Arcade site, Cambridge, between the 7th of February 2005 and the 11th of July 2006 revealed extensive evidence of one of the city's little explored Medieval suburbs. Within the 1.5 hectare development area there were 0.7 hectares of surviving deposits that were investigated archaeologically, of which just under 0.5 hectares had well preserved archaeological sequences. Several substantial lengths of the town boundary known as the King's Ditch were investigated, along with substantial portions of a dozen suburban property plots lying between the King's Ditch and St. Andrew's Street. The latter contained numerous pits, wells, postholes, beamslots, gullies, animal burials, ovens and ditches and demonstrated that the main occupation sequence began in the 11th century AD. The scale of investigations led to the recovery of large and significant assemblages of many types of material - including pottery, animal bone, worked bone, glass, clay tobacco pipe, metal objects and moulded stone - and the waterlogged conditions meant that leather and wood survived in large quantities. Late features from the mid 18th to mid 20th centuries were also carefully recorded and excavated, rather than being treated in a more cursory manner. This meant that a regionally unparalleled number of large assemblages of material of this date were recovered.

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Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

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