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.
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Thursday, 27 May 2010
Michael C reports -
Four weeks - it seems like a long time, but the past four weeks have flown by. They say time goes fast when your having fun. Over the past four weeks we've had a chance to have an insight into the excavation process and develop our techniques and have a lot of laughs whilst doing it.
Today we started with a bit of light mattocking and troweling whilst enjoying the sun. The afternoon consisted of assigning small finds numbers to special artefacts and learning how to conserve these artefacts and a bit of finds washing mixed in with a bit of banter.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Rachel writes -
Today was a day of excavation for group A. Aaron and I worked on taking the baulk out to reveal the clay in trench VI, which took all day! This morning the sun was shining on us, but this afternoon returned to normal and the rain came. Sadly this meant that I found out that my 'waterproof' coat was not quite as waterproof as I had anticipated! Regardless of the rain, we still managed to have fun. I have really enjoyed the past four weeks, it has given me a great insight into fieldwork and I feel like I have learned a lot.
Jonathan writes -
The day started of with some cleaning of what we thought was a section of the robbed out boundary wall. As the day continued, this feature started to mutate into what we now think could be part of a robbed out wall of a structure. This coupled with the feature that was found in group A's area could indicate some form of building. So what started off in the morning as a simple clean back ended the day for group A in the same place that we had started, on our umteenth clean back. The day closed out with group B digging down to what we think is probably the natural layer for the site, although bits of pottery were found so who knows exactly. The mystery of the site deepens and with two days left we need to pick up the pace if we're to understand the site - as well as to stop next year's lot getting the interesting stuff.
Meggen updates -
Another day and another problem to solve. Our parallel 'ditches' now look more like robbed out walls - with possibly even a wall connecting them (which would probably mean a building!). We won't know more until we can plan and then dig a little deeper tomorrow. We also seem to have found another feature in relation to one of the wall/ditches. We need to explore the stratigraphic relationship and we aren't really sure what this is. We've only caught a small bit of it in the excavated area. The other puzzle today was that we started to dig a sondage into what we were betting was natural clay - only to find artefacts in it (including some Roman grey ware). So it isn't natural, but possibly redeposited natural as more clay that seems pretty clean (no finds) is underneath it. Well, so far. The way things are going we'll dig deeper and find the site is even more complicated! A good day though - despite the rain. For the students - digging, planning and some practice using the survey equipment (a total station). For me - standing around pointing and then making piles of spoil for students to clean up! The privilege of experience....
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Meggen updates -
Today was a recording day on site - cleaning up, photographs and planning. This is all in preparation for doing some serious digging over the final three days. There are the two parallel 'ditch' features to figure out and a series of clay layers that don't appear to be the natural subsoil. Some of these areas have a very distinctive 'cobbly' surface, which might mean they were either dug into or perhaps trampled surfaces. After being quite happy thinking we had our boundary ditch, we are now not so sure ... only more investigtion will tell us the answer. And like the classic TV programme that shall remain nameless....we've only 3 days to do it!
Dean writes -
The end of the dig is in sight, evidenced by the fact our group started rather sluggishly today after having a sunny Monday off. We did manage to clean up the site for photographs, however, before a post-break planning session. After demolishing a foot-long Subway at lunch, we were back to the exciting task of cleaning and marking finds from previous days. However, one of the groups (who have not yet owned up to the crime) have clearly enjoyed toiling in the mud so much, that they have been puttings lumps of it in the finds trays, some of which is suspiciously brown and smelly. Nick W's gallant efforts of cleaning lumps of the substance with a toothbrush were to no avail, but have proven the metaphor to be correct, as it was physically impossible to polish a turd.
This is my last blog and so my final opportunity to say how enjoyable the whole dig has been from start to (nearly) the finish. There's been loads to take in, but everyone seems to have been keen to learn. Simon and his team have been great; although, I shall be reserving my final judgement until I know what mark they've given me! Roll on Friday, and a beer in The Falcon.