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Turf rampart just outside NW corner of S.F. II
Topic Started: May 19 2007, 02:11 PM (490 Views)
MBetz
Member
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This week of digging has opened up more of the Antonine fort wall and brought up some new thoughts and questions. On our last day for the week we discovered the sandstone and cobble foundation packing that the Antonine fort wall is built on. The turf rampart on the wall's east or inner side is layed right on top of the foundation layer. That may not sound so crazy since the turf would be cut away for the builders to get in and face the wall most likely but no trench cut is noticeable in the rampart. Also, the rampart is packed right into the remains of the wall, which is only five courses high thus far, and overlays a portion of the wall. So, does that mean the rampart is later? Could it be part of the Severan garrison's work or possibly a garrison in the late 2nd century modifying the fort platform to fit their needs? For this week upcoming there will probably be six and possibly eight diggers working hard to understand the wall and rampart. I know one of the questions in need of an answer is where does the Severan garrison fort wall butt up to the Antonine fort wall. Hopefully we will discover that and the angle turn in teh Antonine wall at the end of the week.
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MBetz
Member
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I ended last week cleaning up Stone Fort 1's north western wall since there was to be no digging this week due to Andy's vacation. I can say that we now have twenty feet of wall showing. The wall is made of sandstone blocks. The foundation of the wall is two courses high and is cut of the largest sandstone blocks. These are around 10 inches long and 6-7 inches in height. The wall is then stepped back and the smaller cut sandstone blocks make up the wall proper. The best surviving section thus far is nearest the later stone fort 2's corner turn. Stone Fort 1's wall stands a total of 7 courses high and is very well bonded closest to the later stone fort. The turf rampart on the east side of the wall shows well in the profile of the trench. What we found in the last couple of days of digging was the rampart profile beginning to dip down which may mean we had gotten close to the turn in stone fort 1's wall. The other surprise was the cut of a major ditch in the profile of the west wall of the trench near the furthest north of the excavation. A large ditch seems to have damage part of stone fort 1's wall. This ditch may be a part of the defenses cut by the Severan garrison of 208-213 AD. Next week, when work resumes, the full profile of the ditch should show and explain itself (fingers crossed). The next crew to dig the wall will also be working a new section of trench hoping to confirm the turn of the wall or its continuation. Hopefully it will turn before the modern boundary fence that runs along the Stanegate road or there will be many more questions asked of Stone Fort 1's layout! I will be taking pictures and checking in on the crew working the wall next week since I am now with Justin's crew for my last couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
Matt
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