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Peterborough-LCW-Monckton-Grinter-1997.pdf (556.01 kB)

Peterborough, Long Causeway (LCW 95): Plant Macrofossils from Medieval Deposits from an Archaeological Excavation

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posted on 2012-04-13, 12:44 authored by Angela Monckton, Pamela Grinter
During excavations by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit (BUFAU) directed by Alex Jones of the site near Peterborough Abbey, samples were taken from deposits as bulk samples for processing by wet-sieving and as waterlogged samples for detailed investigations of organic remains. Plant remains were preserved on the site in the waterlogged deposits as well as being present as charred remains in both waterlogged and other deposits. Remains preserved in either way can provide evidence of diet and use of plant resources in the past but the wider variety of remains preserved in warterlogged deposits can provide additional information, particularly about the environment in the past. The presence of both types of preservation on the site provided the opportunity to study of a wider range evidence from plant remains than is often available on urban sites and so the following investigation was carried out. The waterlogged deposits also contained pollen and insect remains which were analysed so that the different types of evidence, when taken together, would contribute to a more complete picture of the site in the past. The objectives of this investigation were to contribute to information about the environment of the site during the phases 1 and 2 of 13th - 14th century date and phase 3 of the 16th century. In order to assist with the interpretation of the site it was considered important to investigate the sequence of waterlogged deposits in the ditch F579 which follows the western monastic boundary, and to compare the evidence from the North and South plots of Phase 2. It was also hoped to obtain information about the plant products used and consumed by the inhabitants of the site in the past. As the waterlogged deposits preserved the bulk of the evidence it was decided to concentrate resources on their analysis which was carried out in consultation with Lisa Moffett of Birmingham University. The evidence from the plant macrofossils is described with reference to the possible uses and habitat types of the plants and the results are discussed in phase order. Three samples from the ditches were analysed in additional work by Pamela Grinter (Grinter 1996) at Birmingham University and the evidence from the ditches is discussed below. [Taken from introduction]



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