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Photographs, plans and pipes

Rachel reports on Wednesday's activities:

This morning started with Jonathan and I cleaning up a feature (maybe a post-hole) so that it could be photographed by another group; this just involved scraping all the loose soil off the surface and did not really take that long. After this we moved on to bigger things, mainly uncovering the pipe that runs through trench VII. This involved digging a layer at a time (stratigraphically), carrying on from where yesterday's group had finished. After lunch it was my group's turn to start planning in trench VI. This involved putting up tape measures and setting up survey arrows every metre so that we could put down a grid and plot what features were in it. It started to rain as we did this, but luckily the paper we were using was waterproof so it didnt get smudged and dirty, which is always a good thing! We did not manage to finish the planning but we will get it all done tomorrow morning - hopefully without the rain!

And Jonathan writes:

The day started off for group A with some simple tasks around site such as the construction of the mini gazebo and putting up the banners. The rest of the morning was taken up with the troweling of one of the features on site so that it could be photographed, as well as extending the area around the pipes that were found in trench VII. The afternoon for group A was spent doing some planning in trench VI, which took up the whole time and is still not finished. The planning was temporarily interrupted this afternoon as the gazebo decided to make a move on the trench. Thanks to the wind, the gazebo did not survive its jaunt to trench VI and is, sadly, no more.

Michael D writes after a hard day's mattocking -

Whilst Danny and Ross were hard at work at their own jobs this morning, I was mattocking away in the trench, hoping to level out the surface so it could then be trowelled to reveal the contents in the soil below. Around mid-morning, the three of us were shown how to use a rather complex (and expensive) looking camera, as photos of the section and surrounding area were needed.
After lunch it was then back to mattocking and working through our context sheets together. The latter was unfortunately interrupted when the gazebo blew over! But ten minutes later and after some admirable team work, the gazebo was dismantled and back in the box, so we all could go back to our jobs. A good day's work today I think.

Dig Director Simon gives us an update:

We have been making good progress on the dig in spite of the weather being a bit cold and damp. I keep having to remind myself that its supposed to be the middle of May. Although I am supposed to be directing this excavation, I have had to absent myself for some of the time over the last two days to attend 'important' meetings and its encouraging to come back and see the new exciting features being revealed - like a rusty old iron water pipe! However, over much of the site there is an interesting sequence of stratigraphy and features being revealed which leads to interesting discussions (in spite of what Dean said the other day!). In past years we have been rather inundated by the public, not to mention footballers using our fence sections as their goal posts. Today, as we were packing up, Jane and I were looking out across the Park and it was quite deserted. Clearly archaeologists are the only ones mad enough to be out in this weather.

Meggen chips in

I don't normally get to spend all day on site (too much work to do in the office!). I'm impressed with the way things are shaping up. Urban sites are always quite tough - lots of layers that are hard to pick apart. Even after years of digging experience, it can still be tough to be sure you found the 'edge' of an old cut of a trench or pit. As Jonathan reported - our gazebo did bite the dust. The pain of this was somewhat eased by the chocolate donuts Aaron brought in today. If I can eat donuts, I might make it to site more often!