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Archaeologists find vast medieval palace buried under prehistoric fortress

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Author Topic: Archaeologists find vast medieval palace buried under prehistoric fortress  (Read 189 times)
Keira Kensington
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« on: December 04, 2014, 01:11:34 am »

An aerial photograph of the site. The newly discovered probable royal palace is under the grass in the quadrant opposite the foundations of the cathedral. The massive earthworks surrounding the site are from the Iron Age. The earthwork in the centre is the medieval castle mound (English Heritage)

The Old Sarum geophysical survey is being carried out by archaeologists from the University of Southampton - and is giving scholars an unprecedented and unique opportunity to more fully understand Norman town planning.

So far they have been able to reveal the buried foundations of literally dozens of ordinary houses – and a vast mystery complex that is likely to have been a huge royal palace.

The 170 metre long, 65 metre wide complex, arranged around a large courtyard, had walls up to 3 metres thick – and included a 60 metre long probable great hall, what appears to have been a substantial tower and multi-story buildings with upper floors almost certainly supported by substantial columns.

“The location, design and size of the  courtyarded complex strongly suggests that it was a palace, probably a royal one. The prime candidate for constructing it is perhaps Henry I sometime in the early 12th century,” said one of Britain’s leading experts on high status medieval buildings, Dr Edward Impey, Director-General of the Royal Armouries.
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