Ancient Remains Outlined in Street Pavement

Today’s schedule was 5 hours on trains to Lund, 6 hours in Lund giving a talk, and 5 hours on trains home. In Lund I saw the outline of a very early church foundation picked out in the overlying street pavement near the Cathedral. And I was reminded of other archaeology I’ve seen thus outlined: the chancel apse of Stockholm Cathedral and the great stone ship at StÃ¥ngebro near Linköping. It’s a pretty cool way to show the many-layeredness of a spot that would otherwise just be asphalt.

Dear Reader, have you seen any interesting archaeology outlined in an overlying street pavement?

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20 thoughts on “Ancient Remains Outlined in Street Pavement

  1. This isn’t really ancient, only 18th century, but kind of cool anyway…

    It is a replica (made of snow) of the old Ulrika Eleonora Church at the Senate Square in Helsinki. The outline is marked in the ground. The snow version has been built in several winters. It is even used as a church for special occasions, e.g. weddings.


  2. The first “white fella” building in Aus is mapped out on the pavement like that. It was the Governor’s residence and office. The replacement building was built in the same place and is also marked. The area is now a footpath and public square in front of a museum. There is roughly one sqare meter which is an open excavation with a glass hood so you can see the original foundations and water channels. I have photos. I’ll email them to you tonight or tomorrow when I have a little more time.


  3. Lassi, that’s so cool! Helsinki’s huge plazas are a little scary though. So they tore down that church to make room? The railway station plaza and the parliament building are terrifying.

    Eleanora, is that the gubernatorial mansion in Sydney? I read about it in Dancing with Strangers!


  4. What about Virgilkapelle, next to Stephans Dom in Vienna?

    The cellars exist and were (re)found in the 70s. The layout is marked in the pavement above.


  5. Lars, no, Stora Drotten is a stone church ruin in a basement that is open to the public. This is a nearby church foundation that is completely covered up and outlined in street cobbles on the surface. Anybody know its name?


  6. I don’t know whether Dragarbrunnen qualifies as interesting archaeology — in fact, I don’t even know what it was — but its outline has been set in cobblestone in the pavement on Uppsala’s Dragarbrunnsgatan street.


  7. So they tore down that church to make room?

    Yes. Unfortunately they also built another (and bigger) church above the square.

    BTW, on Aleksanterinkatu, the street that passes by the square, there are brass marking on the place where the old waterfront used to be. Much of the street is built across an old bay that was filled in 19th century. That part of the town is still called Kluuvi (from Swedish glo.


  8. Several roman sites in the center of french and german towns (Walheim, for example) have the traces of roman walls outlined by different kinds of pavement. And of course there is the most famous wall: the trace of the torn down Berlin Wall is marked on the pavement at Potsdamer Platz, Brandenburger Tor and other places (


  9. Last summer I saw a main road in Naples opened up for an excavation (in an area right next to the Castel Nuovo by the old docks). It had layers from antiquity, mediaeval and early modern periods clearly visible in ths slope from both two parallel streets and from an over-haning bridge. I am no archaeologist and was just passing by, but it was interesting to see the people brushing away on these remnants.

    / Mattias


  10. In Tartu, Estonia, the original outline of the houses along Rüütli Street has been marked on the present street. Most of the houses were destroyed in the 18th century, at first during the Nordic War in 1704 and what was left after that, in the fire of 1775. – There may be something like that in Tallinn, too, and there they have also exhibited some excavated remains of Medieval and Early Modern Period buildings in the recent years.


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