CAER 2017 Begins... Thursday 4th May!

CAER 2017 Begins... Thursday 4th May!
What will be uncovered this year?
We're back for our 11th season during which examination of trench IV will be continued. Our work will examine the interior of the masonry building (the possible chapel) with its drain discharging into the ditch, the western part of the ditch feature where it is overlain by the medieval building and the underlying deposits. This year trench IV will also be extended to the south in order to locate and examine a stone structure identified during the excavation of a service trench in 2013.
Keep up to date with all the discoveries, brought to you by our daily bloggers.

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Friday, 7 May 2010

A witch on a swing...

Hayley reports:

Very cold start today - luckily no rain, though, and the sun made a very welcome apperance this afternoon. The North side of Trench VI was trowelled today with numerous finds being uncovered including: Medieval pottery, Post-Medieval glass, porcelain, clay pipes, a handle possibly belonging to a small slipware jug and the highlight of the day, a completely intact green glass bottle which amazingly was uncovered whilst using a mattock.
Inscribed on the bottle was "Edmundson's & Co. Birkenhead" and an image of what has been suggested as "a witch on a swing". Fingers crossed for more exciting finds next week!

Karen reports from Trench VII -
Today has been less of a paddle in the mud and more of a trample in the trench! Our group continued to trowel back a very wet trench with varied success. We continued to find lots of small finds like clay pipe stems, glass and sherds of pottery, mainly dating from the post-medieval period. However Rachel and Aaron found the two star finds! Rachel unearthed a rim of Roman pottery known as 'Black Burnished Ware,' which dates back to, roughly, the second century AD! After lunch we returned to the trench and Aaron found teeth! Oh yes! The sticky, gelatinous candy type covered in mud .... we dated this wonderful find as definitely 21st century.
In the afternoon we had the opportunity of planning (drawing) part of Trench VI. This involved drawing onto graph paper a bird's eye view of the things that can be seen - like stones and other features that may be important, too. This was a welcome task for my ancient knees! It was a good day.

Nick writes -
It was a bit of a chilly start today, so I threw on a few more layers and headed to the dig. Today the group and I were learning to plan and level. We were showed how to plan using a 1m by 1m planning frame and we drew up the T-shaped feature. The plan came out well and we were all very pleased with it.
In the afternoon we had a leveling lesson in which we learnt how to use and set up the equipment, and after being shown how to take levels we measured a few heights from around he park. When we were all confident with our leveling skills we set up a temporary bench mark on the site which can be used in the future to measure heights in the two trenches. There were also a couple of birthdays on site today - happy birthday Ross and Hayley!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

A T-shaped puzzle

Gary and Mike C report:

Today we found an interesting T-shaped feature in Trench VI, which was producing mainly post-medieval pottery in the top layers of fill. Not completely excavated, yet, so hopefully we will understand better what it may be tomorrow.
Rained all day mostly, but the day was brightened by what may be our Group's first Roman find of this dig - a small sherd of very abraded orange ware. Hopefully there will be more to come!

Gemma writes:
Today has been quite good over all - apart from the weather as it has been very wet and a bit cold. My group worked on Trench VII today. It needed mattocking, which was rather strenuous; however, the technique was easy to pick up. We mattocked to break up the ground's surface since we needed to dig deeper.
In the afternoon, the weather was a bit better and our group was getting used to levelling again with the staff and dumpy level. With these refreshed levelling skills, we will be able to record levels of the site later on. Later on in the afternoon we had to trowel part of the main trench (VI). A number of finds were found such as parts of clay pipes and sherds of medieval pottery. One of my friends would like me to mention that at one point a pigeon flew into the perimeter fence, which shocked us all and had us laughing. Us archaeologists have a strange sense of humour :). My last thoughts are that I hope the weather is better tomorrow.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Good weather for ducks!

Rachel writes:

Today started off okay - my group began by trowelling the trench that was dug on Tuesday and just generally making it neater, and picking up any finds that were there along the way. After a break we started on the context sheets, and then the rain began. By lunch both the sheets and us were a bit soggy!
After lunch my group had a go at taking levels, which involved measuring the ground at different points. This was fun, even if we did have trouble trying to get it to focus and reading the numbers at first. People passing by seemed to be interested in what we were doing and many stopped to ask questions.
At one point two ducks also wandered onto the site. All in all it was an enjoyable, if rather rainy day on the site.

Jonathan writes:

The day started off troweling through the back fill. This continued throughout the day and was interspersed with other tasks such as levelling in the afternoon. The weather was a bit temperamental, raining at the most unfortunate times (such as trying to fill in context sheets).
Today's finds were a bit sparse, but there were some intriguing things including a whole glass bottle and a metal ring. Another find was a bit mysterious; interpretations of it changed - first it was thought to be bone, but then when I asked someone else they said it was a boar tusk. Whatever it is, it certainly won 'best find of the day.'

Michael D writes:

So we had our second day on site today, and in my group we did a variety of different things. We gradually reduced the height of the baulk inbetween two neighbouring sondages so we could carefully look for any finds. Once the layer was levelled out we then got to practice trowelling, a technique used in archaeology where you carefully scrape off all the topsoil to display the earth below, and hopefully expose any changes in the colour of the soil or materials within. We also worked through our context sheets, an important part of any archaeological dig. All in all, an interesting day with quite a few finds; perhaps the most interesting for my group was a glass bottle, still intact, from the 19th Century. The weather could have been better, but then again, it could have been much worse. I guess we should be thankful for that!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Dig Director Simon starts our story

Well we got the dig started today, a bit slowly at first whilst the digger (diesel-powered, yellow mechanical one that is) opened up the trench from last year (trench VI) digging 'gently' down through the backfill to the undisturbed archaeological layers beneath. We also opened up a new trench, number VII, which should get us close to the bit of old Cholmondeley's Mansion which we found in 2007. All the students turned up bright and enthusiastic and the weather was pretty good, too. Let's hope both of those last!

They had a good go at cleaning up and trowelling and we started to turn up a good variety of finds already - some probably lost on picnics in the park.