Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September Lecture: Recent Excavations in the Viking Triangle, by Órla Scully

Our first lecture in the Edmund Rice Conference Centre attracted interest, and those present on the night were the first to see the finds of the Viking Triangle. Órla recounted for us the work done by the archaeologists and explained the process involved in monitoring the digs, the survey, during, before, and after. Hard work, dangerous situations, puzzles solved, questions raised, and 'Indiana Jones moments'...

Starting on the surface, the great concentration of pottery and 18th / 19th century paraphernalia discovered showed the importance of the area in those days.
A well was found, which will remain as a feature at the back of  City Hall. There were pits, showing evidence of metalworking, the dating of some of the layers - 898 to 920 AD - possibly linking the activity on this site to the Woodstown site. High quality medieval pottery, highly decorated rims of jugs, 10th century ring pins, all the findings implying this was a high status area. Many little walls -like little units, squared up, ran at the back of the Theatre.

While working inside the Bishop's Palace, a digger dislodged a stone, revealing an opening in the ground. A camera lowered into the hole brought back pictures of  a medieval undercroft, used as a wine cellar for the Palace, and some bottles.... empty and/or broken!

A section of the medieval cathedral, beneath Christchurch Cathedral, was also uncovered.

We were made aware of some of the steps involved in the conservation process, and problems encountered when trying to reconstruct parts of a building, in this case windows.

With the excavations over, the building work for the new medieval museum is now well under way, and we are looking forward to its opening in 2012.

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