Some of the earliest fortifications in North America have been uncovered in Quebec City.
While excavating for a new condo project in the “old city” portion of Quebec City, workers came across some bits of waterlogged wood deep in the clay.
Archaeologists then carefully cleared the mud to reveal a section of what was the earliest fortification for the fledgling French colony dating back to 1693-94.
The large cedars were a portion of a wooden and earthen stockade to protect against aboriginals and attacks from English. Known as the Beaucours palisade after the supervisor and military engineer at the time, Josué Dubois Berthelot de Beaucours, the palisade was built following just such an English attack in 1690. Although repulsed at the time it was obvious that defences had to be built to protect exposed western approaches to the town.
With a population of only about 800 at the time, about 500 were apparently involved in the construction.
Although the thick clay has preserved the wood, it must be carefully dried and removed before the freezing temperatures arrive.