Early Post-Excavation Progress on the Stonebow Watching Brief

Archaeological works on the Stonebow were successfully completed by York Archaeological Trust (YAT) on 15th March 2019, facilitating the recent completion of City of York Council’s programme of street improvements in that area.

The excavation has produced a wealth of material, including records detailing the archaeology exposed and investigated, as well as a range of artefacts and samples. It has been the initial preparation and assessment of this material which has been the focus of our efforts over the last couple of weeks, and already we are beginning to establish a clearer understanding of development within two property plots which had fronted onto Fossgate close to St. Crux church, before they were cleared to make way for the Stonebow about 65 years ago.

Finds, including animal bone, pottery, antler objects, leather and wood, much of it dating to the medieval period, has been cleaned, stabilised and packaged ready for specialist assessment. Meanwhile plans, photographs and descriptive notes have been collated and prepared for study.

However, there remains much work for YAT’s archaeologists and specialists to undertake.

For example, across the rear of the property plots, consistently damp ground conditions appear to have prevailed from the medieval period onwards; soil samples taken from features in this area have the potential to provide detail of the activities carried out there. In addition, dateable material, such as pottery and some artefacts including worked antler and leather objects, will help reveal when certain activities were taking place.