As part of the public procurement opened by the Ministry of the Brussels Capital Region, the Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine of the Université libre de Bruxelles and the Société royale d'Archéologie de Bruxelles carried out archaeological research on the land located at the foot of the corner tower of the first walls of Brussels called the "Anneessens Tower", along the boulevard de l'Empereur between numbers 34 and 36, as a preliminary intervention to the real estate project concerning building No 34, managed by the sprl Architectes Associés. It was carried out during the months of October and November 2011 under the direction of Sylvie Byl, Céline Devillers and Michel Fourny.
The excavation revealed several signs of occupation anterior, contemporaneous and posterior to the first walls of Brussels, which were built in the 13th century. Traces of a sandstone quarry located in the 11th century and observed in several places on the plot. An area of occupation as well as a high level of dark earth - both dating from the 13th century - also precedes the construction of the fortification wall. These dark earths revealed the ancient topography and delivered ceramic furniture and animal remains. They were covered with embankments constituting the former intramural embankment of the first walls. The excavation also uncovered a pit abundant in modern archaeological material (15th-16th centuries) and remains of later walls (16th-19th centuries).
BYL S., DEVILLERS C., FOURNY M., 2013, Recherches archéologiques au pied de la « Tour Anneessens » à Bruxelles, Archaeologia Mediaevalis 36, p. 26-29.
Fig. 1. View of the excavation from Boulevard de l'Empereur, 2011.