What happened

On 4th, 5th and 6th November 2002, MAP, the archaeological consultants for the developers carried out some more required by the York City Planning Authorities. The work involved removing the topsoil in some key locations along the line of the proposed road to enable metal detectors to check a sample of the area (<1%).

The Beck at this point breaks through the glacial moraine that separates the low lying land to the east from the Ouse. 

What was found

The finds are still being assessed but there is little expectation that they will be relevant to the Battle of Fulford.

What was revealed is that the Beck, in this zone, runs between the clay shoulders deposited during the last Ice Age. The Beck has therefore meandered very little at this point. At times of high rainfall, and especially following the periodic flooding, the flow of water is particularly fast.  

What does this mean

The has been periodically 'scoured' by floods. Consequently, any finds in this region will have been washed away towards the Ouse. 

No undisturbed strata was identified along this section. Such a layer might have preserved inorganic material such as leather lost by those in the river.

It is alarming that this 'choke point' which drains the hinterland is to be filled with the access road. The escape route that any trapped floodwater might take is not known. (Local Geology)

What next?

  1. Investigate the low lying land to see if there is a layer of peat which has been reported.
  2. See if a trail of relics can be identified downstream as it is now evident that they will have been flushed from their original environment.
  3. Raise the issue of the hydrological effects that might follow the constriction of the Beck at this point by the proposed access road.
Road map Photos upper trench Photos lower trenches

  Nov 2002