Welcome to the Urban Archaeology blog. Chiz Harward provides a range of archaeological services including desk-based assessments, evaluations, excavations, watching briefs and post-excavation services, training and development work, and archaeological illustration. This weblog will carry news of projects as and when they happen as well as wider thoughts on archaeological issues, especially recording, stratigraphy and training.

Deep excavation in the City of London

For the next few weeks Urban Archaeology will be supporting LP Archaeology on an evaluation in the City of London. The site is on Minories, north of the Tower of London, and is situated immediately east of the City wall over the line of the Roman and medieval city ditch, and the land immediately to the east –possibly including areas used as a cemetery in the early Roman period. 
The view from the Minories site, Tower Bridge, Tower of London and the medieval City wall.

The evaluation will involve excavating several deep shafts, with boreholes showing up to 7.5m of archaeological deposits. Working in deep shafts is a complex and potentially dangerous operation, requiring careful planning and detailed safety systems. Chiz has been working and supervising in deep shored excavations, shafts and tunnels for over 15 years, as well as having the requisite Confined Space training and knowledge and understanding of the relevant legislation and regulations.
Erecting the shoring for the first test pit.
Work to date has concentrated on opening up the first test pits -breaking out concrete slabs, cutting off services, digging out the upper levels of 18th century made ground and getting the shoring in place -ready for another six metres of digging!
Recording the 18th century barrel vault.
The works also include monitoring of geo-technical test pits, with initial findings of an 18th century brick barrel vault, which had been rebuilt in the mid 19th century when Liverpool Street station viaduct was built.

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