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Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History No. 2

A "Rescue Excavation" at the Princess Half-bastion, Fortress of Louisbourg

by Bruce W. Fry


Coastal erosion necessitated the excavation, recording and removal of a section of the Fortress of Louisbourg fortification front which was in danger of collapse and rapid deterioration. Because of the emergency nature of the operation, no historical sources relating to this specific area were searched prior to excavation, and the deductions made were based primarily on the archaeological evidence as it related to the general history of Louisbourg as a whole. While the structural nature of the area investigated was apparent from a purely archaeological interpretation, the date and purpose of subsequent modification could only tentatively be deduced. The excavation thus provided an interesting example of the limitations of archaeological deduction in the absence of intensive research into historical sources.

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