Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Wakeman/Heritage House, Block 28 Lot 1, Archaeology
Title: The Town Plan of Sixteenth Century St. Augustine: The Archeological Evidence
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 Material Information
Title: The Town Plan of Sixteenth Century St. Augustine: The Archeological Evidence
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Wakeman/Heritage House, Block 28 Lot 1, Archaeology
Physical Description: Report
Language: English
Creator: Deagan, Kathleen
Publication Date: 1981
Physical Location:
Box: 7
Divider: Block 28 Lot 1 (Heritage House)
Folder: Wakeman/Heritage House, B28 L1, Archaeology
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
1 Aviles Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Heritage House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Wakeman House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 1 Aviles Street
Coordinates: 29.892097 x -81.311584
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094838
Volume ID: VID00004
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: B28-L1

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Kathleen Deagan
Florida State University


Project report submitted to the St. Augustine
Restoration Foundation, Inc.

Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board

1 8 EC.


map, separated from the rest of the town at the northwest periphery (Figure

3). If all of the Trinity site wells were "late" 16th century (a

questionable but not impossible premise), Hoffman's interpretation may

indeed be correct. The closest early 16th century deposits in that event

would be the Public Library site trash pits, which is not inconsistent

with the "small town" hypothesis.

Summary of Evidence

The "large town" Hypotnesis A was tested through three test im-

plications. The first was that a roadway should be present at roughly

50 feet east of St. George Street. This was not negated, since several

lineally aligned deposits which could have been road deposits were lo-

cated. Neither was it strongly supported, because we have no confirmed

model against which to identify a road.

The second implication was that 16th century material should be

present to the north of Artillery Lane. Excavations here again did not

either reject or support this implication. Proveniences were found which

contained El Morro ware and Mexican Red filmed ware, which occur from the

16th to the 18th centuries in St. Augustine. No materials diagnostic of,

or dating consistently to, the 16th century were recovered, however.

The third implication was that material dating to the 16th cen-

tury should be present to the south of Bridge Street. This implication

could not be tested during the 1981 season because of the extreme com-

plexity of the other sites excavated which consumed all of the available


Burials located during the 1979 season at SA-28-1 (the Spanish

military hospital) indicated that prior to 1598, the sections of Aviles


and Charlotte Streets north of the northern extension of Artillery Lane

were the site of Christian burials. The burials, as evidenced by earlier

construction work in the area, extended from Aviles Street east to

Charlotte Street. The two intact skulls located in the 1979 season both

faced the east. Since Catholic burials (particularly medieval ones) were

buried with their faces oriented toward the church altar (see Koch 1980

for a discussion of this), it is suggested that the 16th century church

was in the vicinity of present-day Potter's Wax Museum. Unfortunately,

no evidence in the 1979 excavations was found to suggest whether the

burials were inside or outside of the church, and the street burials were

not recorded in a manner to make this determination possible. The 1979

burial was that of an Indian woman, however, and may not (for status re-

lated reasons) have been located inside the church for burial.

The "small town" hypothesis, Hypothesis B, was tested through two

test implications. The first of these was that Bravo Lane should have

extended toward the west, cutting through the present Block 35. The

presence of an "early" 16th century well in the expected location of the

road extension negated this test implication. If the well was a "late"

16th century feature (an assumption not supported directly by the arti-

fact assemblage), it could be suggested that the well obliterated an

earlier road area.

The second test implication for the "small town" hypothesis was

that a roadway should be present at some 88 feet to the west of Aviles

Street. A deposit in the Public Library site was located at this posi-

tion, which could have been a road. This evidence is weak, however, due

to the absence of a reliable road model, and also to the fact that


corroborating evidence was absent in the SA-34-2 excavations some 50

feet south of the Library test trench (King and Gaske 1981).

Charlotte Street was hypothesized as being present during the

16th century only if the "small town" hypothesis was correct. Evidence

to date can support only that Charlotte Street was present after the

"late" 16th century (although it cannot reject its existence during the

early 16th century).

Given the available pieces of evidence and their respective

strengths, the "large town" hypothesis (Hypothesis A) is the most strong-

ly supported. The most tangible (although admittedly amorphous) evidence

for a roadway was located at the predicted position in SP-34-l, and no

negative evidence was located to the north of Artillery Lane. Certainly

additional data from north of Artillery Lane and south of Bridge Street

will be necessary to strengthen this assessment. The presence of "early"

16th century contexts along present-day St. George Street is consistent

with the "large town" hypothesis, and inconsistent with the "small town"

hypothesis. This is also true of the fact that no evidence could be

verified that would place Charlotte Street in the "early" 16th century

(nor could any be verified which definitely placed it only in the "l'te"

16th century).

A major problem in these interpretations is in distinguishing

"early" from "late" contexts. Two ceramic types are flimsy bases upon

which to construct such distinctions. A very important aid in this pro-

cess will be the assessment of the material assemblage of Santa Elena,

South Carolina, (presently being excavated by Stanley South). That site

was abandoned in the year that the "late" 16th century is presumed to have


begun in St. Augustine, and thus the assemblage from Santa Elena should

provide a guideline for the distinction between "early" and "late" pro-

veniences. (These guidelines, however, should be based on a whole site

sample of more than 1,000 sherds, since this has been the basis for

assemblage depiction in St. Augustine.)

A final possibility should be noted about the settlement data.

Once the guidelines noted above are available, the proposition that both

the "small town" and "large town" hypotheses are correct, and that the

"large town" was established following the influx of settlers from Santa

Elena can be tested. This would be predicated upon the possibility that

the Trinity site wells along St. George Street are a late 16th century

feature, a proposition that cannot currently be supported by majolica

data. If this were the case, however, we could suggest that the Palm

Row wells are the separate, anomalous lot in that location on the Boazio

map, and that these were destroyed in the 1586 raid by Drake. (This is

not inconsistent with the fill of the wells, which was primarily burned

house posts and wattle and daub fragments.) A road was then built in the

location indicated on the Trinity site, and structures would have been

located to the west of this road along the eastern portion of Palm Row.

The Trinity wells presently along St. George Street could have been

associated with such later structures, if they are "late" 16th century.

A Final Note--The 1784 Rocque Map

Mariano de la Rocque, noted by St. Augustine historians as one

of the most precise and reliable cartographers to have been in the colony,

prepared a map in 1784 which bears an interesting coincidence to the cur-

rent project. This map was not located until the final stages of this






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