The CReA-Patrimoine, in collaboration with the Royal Society of Archaeology of Brussels, carried out excavations from September 2014 to January 2015 on the site located between rue Marché-aux-Herbes, rue Marché-aux-Peaux, the impasse de la Tête de Boeuf and rue des Bouchers in 1000 Brussels. This was a preliminary intervention to the development of a real estate project led by Galika Human Estate and part of the public procurement opened by the Brussels-Capital Region.
In the 1990s, two excavation campaigns were organised by the Institut de Gestion de l’Environnement et de l’Aménagement du Territoire (IGEAT) and revealed many remains that were fundamental in understanding the evolution of the urban landscape in the historic centre of Brussels. The recent intervention has made it possible to further develop this knowledge by expanding the excavation sectors and to identify new problems linked in particular to the evolution of the building inside the islet.
The intervention made it possible, on the one hand, to identify new data on the primitive landscape of the city with agricultural or vegetable-type occupations, as well as, subsequently, structures linked to the birth of crafts and the butchery trades and, on the other hand, to trace the evolution of the parcel inside the islet and to develop knowledge concerning the evolution of the building in a place where the constraints linked to the decrease in space over time are fundamental. Thus, five main phases have been defined, ranging from the 12th-13th to the 20th century.
Fig. 1. General plan of the excavation.
Fig. 2. Detrital pit containing hundreds of soles and other leather waste.