You were mentioning the preservative power of mud, well back a number of years ago I helped my father clean out a dug well of about 30 feet deep, as we removed the layers of silt, what came into view was an oak cribbing of about 8 feet in height , and I must say in perfect condition. This goes along somewhat with what you are referring to and I thought that it needed to be said now, mud will for a very long period preserve wood as long as the oxygen is not present for microbial action.
Also during my time in the restoration reconstruction at UCV my work was overseen by one of the best restoration architects in Canada, his name was Mr Peter Stokes. I asked him the following question in connection with a stone foundation wall needed to support one of my structures. The wall construction was stone and not a problem to reconstruct with the old lime mixtures but the base or the footing was more of a problem. I asked him what was used at that period of time . Hs reply was to lay down thick oak planks and then up goes the wall, which is what we did, and the building stands true today, I reconstructed many buildings using the same technique
Last edited by northern hewer; 10/22/0903:54 PM. Reason: to add material