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640-year-old castle with moat found under hotel: ‘Remarkably preserved’

via YouTube

Archaeologists in France discovered the well-preserved 14th century remains of Château de l’Hermine under a hotel in Vannes.

Built in the 1380s by Duke John IV, excavations at the site uncovered the 42m long ducal house with exceptionally thick walls surrounded by an intact moat and flanked by a square tower.

“The excavation revealed little by little the plan of the ground floor: the ducal house, 42 meters long and 17 meters wide (out of work), is endowed with walls of an exceptional thickness,” INRAP stated.

Staircases including one with decorated steps were found, along with coins, dishes, jewelry and preserved wooden items providing insight into daily castle life.

The humidity protected fragments of barrels and rich materials were extracted from the moat.

“Directly bordered by a moat, it is flanked to the west of what one can call a ‘square tower,'” INRAP stated.

“In addition, archaeologists conducted a deep survey in the moat,” INRAP said. “From this very wet material, they extracted rich furniture.”

“The homogeneity of the materials used for the construction of the castle and the standardization of the modules show a mastery of the management of the site throughout the operating chain, from the extraction of stone to its implementation,” INRAP said.

Tiles with graffiti and padlocks were also found.

The high quality construction using standardized materials and modules revealed the site was skillfully managed with significant resources, demonstrating John IV employed the top engineers and craftsmen of the time.

“The construction… took place in a single phase, which testifies to the importance of the financial and human resources used,” the statement added. “The remains indicate that John IV knew how to surround himself with the best engineers and craftsmen of their time.”

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