First Anglo-Saxon buildings found in Bath discovered during Abbey renovations

Started by gash, January 28, 2020, 03:38:29 pm

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Experts from Wessex Archaeology have used scientific techniques to date the remains of two stone buildings, discovered during renovation work at Bath Abbey, to the 8th - 10th century.

They are likely part of the Anglo-Saxon monastery where King Edgar was coronated as first King of England in 973 AD.

The two structures were discovered during excavations below street level, south of the current Abbey church, as part of Bath Abbey's Footprint project.

The team from Wessex Archaeology uncovered the apsidal (semi-circular) structures below an area where the cloisters of the 12th-century cathedral would have once stood and overlying earlier Romano-British deposits.

An internal plaster render on the southern-most apse contained fragments of charcoal from which two samples were sent for radiocarbon dating at Queen's University, Belfast.

The dates came back as AD 780-970 and AD 670-770, much to the delight of Wessex Archaeology Senior Project Officer Cai Mason, who said: "When you find something unusual, you have to think 'what is the most mundane explanation for what we've found?', and most of the time that will be the explanation, but sometimes that doesn't work, which makes you wonder 'have we found something genuinely unusual?'

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