Prior to the construction of the Carmelite church, ploughing had taken place over much of this area. A series of plough marks [Photo 0304] (AIG) ran in a west-north-west to east-south-east direction across the north of the excavated area. The plough had left linear incisions (up to 50mm deep) in the underlying clay subsoil. Two other plough marks, ADO [Photo 0235] and AEK, suggest that in this area the ploughing had taken place in a roughly west-south-west to east-north-east direction. These areas were not fully excavated onto the clay subsoil, and it is probable that other plough marks were present.
The earliest structure on this site survived as the bases of two probable post-holes, ADX and ADP. No evidence of posts was found and so it was not possible to determine what type or size of structure this had been. Pit ADQ which had been filled with mortar, clay and charcoal, may have been associated with this structure. Their fill, including a stone roof tile, suggests that they were dug to dispose of rubbish from either the construction or demolition of a building, possibly the building of which ADX and ADP were the only excavated remains.
A shallow sub-rectangular cut (AHT) was filled with charcoal, loam and clay. Wooden posts and stakes (AHW) had been sunk into the fill of this cut and had subsequently been burnt. Unfortunately it was not possible to investigate this feature fully, but it is most likely to have been the remains of a 'clamp'-type kiln or oven (for further details of this type of kiln, see McCarthy and Brooks 1988, 40-54). This type of structure was often either a bonfire on the ground surface or a shallow pit with roughly-prepared superstructure. The fill of this feature may have been the remains of the last, possibly only, firing. No evidence was found of the material which was being fired or cooked and no finds were recovered from the fill, but it may have been a small industrial oven for the production of building materials such as ceramic roof and floor tiles.
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