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Research Report

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In July of 2015, the Fiske Center for Archaeological Research at UMass Boston conducted test excavations at Gore Place, the 1806 mansion house of Christopher and Rebecca Gore in Waltham, Massachusetts, to answer questions about changes in the landscape on the north side of the house. The excavations focused on areas of interest within the drive circle and against the west hyphen of the house. The project was carried out under State Archaeologist Permit #3559. The main results in the oval were the discovery of a Gore-period driveway under the grassy oval, indicating that the driveway was broader in front of the house in the past. The absence of a corresponding Gore-era drive north of the grassy oval suggests that the oval driveway itself was a configuration added later in the 19th century, possibly in the 1840s. The project found that there was not a square enclosure around the well in the oval, contrary to what we proposed following the 2008 work. The 2015 work was the first excavation against the standing house, and we placed two units against the west hyphen to examine the hypothesis that some of the basement windows were once doorways. There was a buried ground surface approximately 1.2 m below the modern ground surface, suggesting that yes, there were once doorways into the cellar along the west hyphen. This area may have been filled, and the doorways closed off, as early as 1817 during the Gores’ major renovation of the structure. We also found a doorstep for a no longer extant first-floor door and a layer of demolition debris dating to a late 19th-century remodeling episode.


Cultural Resource Management Study No. 74

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.