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Title: Arrivas House archaeological excavations - October 20-23, 1960
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087028/00001
 Material Information
Title: Arrivas House archaeological excavations - October 20-23, 1960
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Publication Date: 1960
 Subjects
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
46 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Arrivas House (Saint Augustine, Fla)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 46 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.896311 x -81.313236
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087028
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Public Domain
Resource Identifier: B12-L21

Table of Contents
    Main
        Page i
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Appendix 1
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Sketches
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
Full Text










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ARRIVAS HOUSE
Archaeological Excavations October 20-23, 1960


Area of outside southwest corner of Room B.

The excavation here was done for the purpose of clarifying the nature and
relationship, if any, of architectural features of Room K.

As was noted in a former report, Archaeological Summer Report, 1960, this
area was badly disturbed. However the excavations did bring to light three post
holes (see sketch 1) and the fact that the wall between Room A and B at one time
extended further to the west.

A brick rubble area that appeared to be an extension of the south wall of
Room B averaged 1.26' wide and extended to a depth of 0.50' below the surface.
It was noted that all of the cultural material below this rubble area was of the
first Spanish period.

The rubble area extended 6.40' west of the Arrivas House proper on a line
with the south wall of Room B. (See appendix 1). This rubble area was interrupted
in its western extension by stand pipes and their trenches.

The brick rubble area was on top of refuse and under the refuse was a wall
trench that was the remains of a wooden structure (See Sketch 2). The sequence of
building in this area is shown in Sketch 3.

Area Southeast Corner of Room A.

This excavation was undertaken in order to establish where the original wall
of the Arrivas House was located and the nature of the garden wall (see Sketch 4).
It was discovered that the south wall of Room A butts into the east wall of Room A
and the garden wqll was an extension of the east wall and the whole front wall in-
cluding the garden wall was constructed at the same time.

On the interior or garden side of the garden wall no tabby floors were found.
The east wall of Room A was plastered inside and outside as was the south wall of
Room A. The garden wall was plastered outside but no inside plastering was present.
However, only a limited amount of the wall was exposed and this may have been an
atypical section.

Area inside and outside of northeast corner of Room D.

The work in this area was initially started in order to establish the north-
east corner of the Arrivas House. In this work the foundations for another structure
were found. This newly discovered structure, of which the southwest corner was
exposed, was earlier than the Arrivas House, and was designated as House X. House X
was a coquina structure. (See Sketch 5) On the outside west wall of House X was
a water catch basin 1.10' north of the southwest corner. The catch basin had a top
diameter of 1.55' and was 0.60' deep. The catch basin ran under coquina wall No. 1
of the north wall of Room D. It was noted that the south side of the south wall of
Room X was plastered.


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After exposure of the walls of House X inside of Room D it was noted that
the base was thicker than the upper well. This was due to ie fact that the wall
was trimed after construction and that the base was 0.20 0.30' below the gound
level at the time of building.

In the east wall of Room D at the junction of the east wall and the south
wall of the same room, a door jamb hole was found that intrudes into the south
wall. The doorway itself was 3.4' wide (inside dimensions from jamb to jamb)
No plaster was present on the north side of the south wall of the inside of the
east wall or the inside north wall of Room D.

The periods of construction for both the north and east wall of Room D
were the same.

The corner stone of the northeast corner of Room D is missing as a park-
ing meter was expected here in recent years.

Excavations were begun on the north side of the north wall of Room D,
but due to lack of time no evidence of note was uncovered.

The sequences of construction of House X and the Room D complex was as
follows:

1. Tabby wall. (Craft Shop area)

2. Whole shell ripio wall under coquina wall 1 (north wall of Room D)

3. House X coquina walls

4. Coquina wall 1 (Room D)

5. Coquina wall 2 (Room D)


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APPENDIX 1

Possible Bricks Manufactured in St. Augustine, Florida by the Spanish During the
First Half of the 18th Century.

Brick fragments used as a footing for a former wall of the Arrivas House at
48 St. George Street were discovered in a recent archaeological excavation.

The brick fragments were used as a footing for the western section of the
south wall of Room B. This south wall was constructed during the first half of the
18th century. It is known from documentary evidence that brick and tile were made
in St. Augustine prior to 1737 (Albert Manucy, Personal Communication).

The brick found appears to be a type that dould very well have been manufactured
in St. Augustine. The clay, fired color, method of utilizing the clay, texture and
hardness are unlike the contemporary and later British and American brick and show a
crudness that one might expect in this area.

The sizes of the bricks are as follows:

Brick Width Thickness Specimen Length Total length

A 3 3/4# 1 7/8" 3 1/16" ?
B 3 11/16" 1 15/16" 3" ?
C ? 2 9/16" 3 7/8" ?
D 3 13/16" 1 7/8" 2 13/16"
E 3 11/16" 1 7/8".! 2 1/4"
F ? 1 3/16" 2 1/2"

No whole brick were found and therefore the total length of this type of brick
is unknown.

Specimens A, B, D and E are very uniform in their measurements with only a
variation of 2/16 of an inch in width and 1/16 of an inch in thickness. It there-
fore appears that this brick type measured 3 11/16" x 1 14/16" x ? 2/16 of an
inch.

Specimen C is a thicker brick but the only measurement possible was the thickness.
Many fragments of this thicker type were found but they were so eroded that measure-
ments were impossible. One other brick of the "C" type was located in the excavations
but it was in a disturbed area and its relative date is unknown, however, it is of
this general type.

Specimen "F" is a relatively thin brick, 1ing 1 3/16" thick and may have been
used more as a tile than a brick for building.

A brick designated as "G" had a width and thickness the same as the A, B, D and
E group but is much harder.

The clay used in all of these specimens was crudely processed. Throughout the
brick were whirls of unlevigated clay where pockets of air had been trapped. The
tempering was of limestone.

During the 18th century the clay used in better brick was first mixed with


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water to the consistency of slip. The organic impurities floated to the surface
and were poured off. Then the purified clay was pixed with tempering material and
poured into molds where it remained until dry.

The nodules and whirls of clay were so numerous in some of the bricks that
one could break them easily with the hands.

The bricks are soft aside from Brick "G", and some can be disintergrated by
simply rubbing with the hand.

All specimens being described except brick "G", were varigated in color:
the predominate color being a brilliant alizarin red with yellow ochre swirls
as well as orangish areas. Brick "G" was more uniform in color and of a darker
red.

The conclusions that may be drawn from these brick are various, however, it
appears to me that two hypothesis are most tenable.

1) Specimens A, B, C, D, E and F were made in St. Augustine. Specimen
G was made in another area, probably Cuba.

In 1737 "8,000 brick were brought from Havana to build a new kiln" (op cit.)

Specimen "G" is a superior brick and could have been the size pattern for the
St. Augustine brick made of inferior clay and fired b someone who did not have the
knowledge and/or skill of brick making.

2) All the specimens, except brick "G", were rejects of St. Augustine bricks
due to improper manufacturing and firing. Brick "G" was the type of brick usually
manufactured at this period.

Conclusions:

The finding of these bricks in an undisturbed first Spanish period stratum
under certain particular conditions seems to indicate that they were St. Augustine
brick. It is doubtful that such brick would be imported due to its poor quality.
Also many of the fragments appeared to be kiln "spoil" brick and this gives weight
to the fact that they were probably manufactured in or near St. Augustine.


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