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We're back for our 12th season. Keep up to date with all the discoveries, brought to you by our daily bloggers.

Wednesday, the rainy farewell - By Maiken

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And so, we get to the bittersweet end of our dig. In fact, is our last day as second-year students, but as the weeks at the dig site have progressed, the routine and the work has grown on us, and it is with mixed filings I now have to end this year. I don’t know if I talk for all of us, but I would say that I would miss this experience.
Most of the people that I have shared a trench with this month I did not even know that well beforehand, and now the only thing I wish for is that we could have gotten more time together before the year ends.
But enough nostalgia, today me and Adam were excavating a context filled with a lot of stones. It seems to align pretty well with the wall in the neighbouring trench (just a little bit higher up). So, who knows, there might be something interesting for next year's students to find down there.
Apart from that, just as the title suggests, the rest of the day pretty much rained away, and most of the remaining time left to us went into recording and …

The Last Day on Site! by Team D

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The final day of the dig for Team D consisted filling out the context sheets and completing the section drawings for Trench IV.The afternoon rain flooded the trenches, making the trench very slippery underfoot, which made today’s tasks difficult to carry out however we managed to finish the section drawings, plans, and context sheets as a team.Team F found the bottom of the Early-Medieval ditch, which was in the trench we were all working in.


The speculated bottom of the Early-Medieval ditch

A highlight for our team was finding the Roman flagon neck and the handle to go with it, which was found in Trench IV, near the sondage, yesterday.  Another highlight was finding Roman glass, found by Kelly, which is believed to be from a perfume bottle.  We also found a piece of iron that looked like it could have been a key.




Our overall experience as a team is positive; we have had a lot of fun digging in Grosvenor Park, as well as being very lucky with the weather!  We have generally worked well…

The penultimate day - byTeam A

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Today was the much anticipated open day, where members of the public would be allowed on site to see the results of the months hard work.
All teams strived to show off our excavation skill, and eagerly showed visitors what we had found. On display were various Roman and Medieval/ Post Medieval artefacts from both trench VIII and IV, including samian ware counters featuring makers marks, bone dice, and decorated tiles. 





Team A have all enjoyed May's excavation, and are sad that it is now coming to an end. Thanks to all those involved in making this years dig a great experience!
Team A

Day 15 (afternoon): Team Bee!

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This afternoon team B did some recording of the Roman road and gully, whilst other members of the team did some level recording and filling out of context sheets. We are well underway to mapping out the road.
The remainder of the road gully was removed, finding more in the second half of the ditch than the first, including metalworking and Roman pottery. Elsewhere in the trenches, people continued to excavate the unknown depths of a medieval (?) ditch. At the very end of the day, other members were uncovering a possible stone well cap.

Overall Team B would like to say we have thoroughly enjoyed our time together over the last few weeks, with 21 ice creams consumed, 3 major sunburns, 4 animal invasions, an unknown number of buckets carried, and thousands of memories made. We’ve had a brilliant time!


Day 14: Cannon fire! by Aimee & Jordan

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This was a productive morning in both trenches as headway was made digging into the ditch at the back of trench IV and much more excitingly the early modern feature in trench VIII was finally determined to be a cannon backfire because of the residue found on the end facing the Chester walls. Wasn’t long though until work began to remove it and excavate the context underneath




Find of the morning, a bone dice on top of a sandstone brick near the cannon backfire. This joins a matching set of five found nearby last year.

The afternoon was also productive in both trenches, however, in trench IV we had a bit too much enthusiasm. During the early afternoon it took a while to get things going again after a blissful lunch break in the sun, to which we were joined by a group of Mexican school children keen to learn about what we were doing and what we had found. This session continued on with them trying to identify some finds, which went really well. May have even convinced a few to think about …

Day 13: “Archaeology can be very boring, distressing and physically uncomfortable” (but it's worth it!) - by Katy & Noah

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Day 13 has been another day of exceptional sunshine and heat, which made excavating fairly difficult as the soil had become hard, requiring plenty of energetic mattocking, especially in the west end of trench IV.. After another long day spent digging (and sweating profusely) in Grosvenor Park, we are still nowhere near the bottom of our early medieval ditch and have been left with aching muscles, sunburn and mosquito bites. This rather brings to light the meaning of a certain quote we encountered (and ignored in disbelief) during first year: “Archaeology can be very boring, distressing and physically uncomfortable” - unfortunately, it’s true (especially for Connor, who fell down Dave’s test pit and was promptly followed by a wheel barrow full of soil!).



Day 12: Tiles, Tessera, and a Trilby - by James & Connor

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Day 12 of the dig was certainly the hottest so far (a pinkening 24℃) and possibly the most intriguing day. Numerous finds from the Roman road today have begun to tell a part of the story of life in Roman Chester.Several Roman iron nails were found within the context of the Roman road one of them may have been rather enthusiastically mattocked through, along with a melon bead and a lead spindle whorl. 
Across the site, preparations were made to dig two sections through a possible ditch, which also recovered some large cattle bones. A black tessera was also recovered, could there possibly be a villa nearby? Samian ware and Black-Burnished ware pottery sherds were also frequent finds from the baked concrete like earth, which was subsequently dumped over the EDGE of the spoil heap upon its removal.
The day was intersected by the Bone Lab a crash course in the bones and bits of beasts and how to draw and identify our muddy pieces of past creatures by the lovely Ian, a man of expert knowledge…

Day 11: Spoil management. Rules and regulations - by Joe, Kieran & Rowan

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Today was a measure of patience… as the dimensions of trench eight were calculated. The day yielded two coins, one Roman (trench IV), the other Elizabethan (trench VIII).


The spoil heap was tended to today after once again being overloaded with soil. It would benefit all members of this dig to place spoil OVER THE SIDE OF THE SPOIL HEAP. 
Finds were cleaned throughout the day and marked with their respective context numbers.
This blog entry is the first to feature a complete view of the site from atop the now cleaned spoil heap (Which soil should be placed OVER THE SIDE OF).





Joe, Kieran & Rowan

Day 10: finds, finds, finds - by Alex & Josephine

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Day 10 in Trench VIII began with mattocking and shovelling to reveal the orange-y clay layer beneath, ultimately to expose the ditch, which is believed to be Late Roman – Early Medieval, as it interrupts the Roman road which runs to the Amphitheatre.
In the morning, we found a piece of Roman glass, which was approximately 5cm in length, in addition to the usual finds of animal bone and pottery.





The afternoon was spent labelling previously cleaned finds from Trench VIII.The finds were labelled with a fountain pen and black ink, which was very fiddly!When we had finished labelling, we spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning finds from other areas of the site, which included lots of pottery and CBM (Ceramic Building Material).