Bective excavations Blog

Day 10 – Tower, Precinct wall and ‘Open source GIS’
July 15, 2011, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The team in Cutting H expose one of the medieval walls.

The end of the second week provided an opportunity to take stock of the results to date. Progress has been even better than expected. Cutting J is producing evidence for further kiln waste. The structural evidence at Cutting H suggests some sort of medieval tower which appears to post-date the kiln as it is built on kiln waste. The wall that was identified last year in the robber trench continues eastwards into Cutting H. We appear to be dealing with two phases of building in the southern precinct. During abbot Stephen of Lexington’s visitations to Ireland in 1228, he visited Bective and described it as a strongly fortified place which could be used to help Clairvaux subdue the abbeys of Mellifont and Boyle. It was agreed to strengthen Bective and enlarge it so that in future it could assist its mother house at Clairvaux in France. Could what we are seeing in Cutting H be evidence for this fortifying of Bective?

Cutting K is located in the southern end of the ‘monastic garden’. We all got quite a surprise on Thursday when Rory discovered a stone wall, ‘the Great Wall of Rory’. This is running east to west along the southern boundary of the garden and could well be an outer precinct wall.

In the afternoon we welcomed back Gianmarco, site supervisor from last season who gave the team a fascinating talk on the use of ‘open source GIS’ for publishing excavations. Once all our site plans and features are digitised and site databases linked it is possible to publish an excavation report for Bective Abbey online that can be queried with a much larger readership.

The tower (?) is to the left. Stratified below this is the remains of a wall that was robbed and part of that found in Cutting H.

Gianmarco gives a lecture on the use of 'Open Source' 'Geographical Information Systems' in archaeology.

Helen and Rory with the Great Wall of Rory in the background (Photo Oisín McNamara).

Geraldine and Matthew contemplate Cutting J with Noel Carey (Photo Oisín McNamara)..

Noel (holding the infamous mattock) with Rob. Rob is a recent graduate of St Patrick's College, Drumcondra (Photo Oisín McNamara)..

Architectural surveyor and historian Kevin O'Brien of the Office of Public Works discusses his work on Bective Abbey.

Beryl and grandson from Texas and Australia (respectively). Beryl las a loflong engagement with archaeology and was given this trip to Ireland for her 80th birthday. These two are just some of the dozens of visitors to Bective Abbey made possible by the new car park built by the Office of Public Works.

Kevin cuts the chocolate cake that was make by GIS maestro Gianmarco. This is Kevin's last day on the site. He will be missed.


2 Comments so far
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How marvelous to see what you’re uncovering. Wish I could be there to see it all unfold.
Johanna Flynn, Washington State

Comment by Johanna Flynn

My family and I enjoyed our trip to Ireland tremendously. Sights and sounds are great, but it was really made memorable by the warmth and hospitality of the people.

Thanks very much.
Beryl Hughes

Comment by Beryl Hughes

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