Then there were two…
For the past two days the numbers in Group D have started to decline. Starting out as a group of four our numbers are now down to two. Hopefully those who were absent will return by Monday. Fortunately, we weren’t separated into different groups to do different jobs. Instead three of the four groups spent the morning scraping off the remaining topsoil to uncover the archaeological level that was discovered during last year’s excavation.
After our lunch break we started to dig down deeper into the archaeology. However, after about 30 minutes Tom, myself and some of the other guys were called out of the trench for a session on context sheets (we were off during the original session). The way we were sat around Uncle Simon was like we were more about to participate in storytime than a lesson in how to fill out context sheets. For those who are unaware of what a context sheet is, it is a very important document. When an area has been excavated in a trench, archaeologists need to note down key information about:
1) The type of context it is (e.g. a ditch, a wall),
2) The colour of the soil and the type it is,
4) Method used to excavate it,
5) Artefacts found,
6) And a drawing of the location of the site,
Once our lesson in context sheets had finished we went back to our previous task. While I was digging I found a large piece of slipware which was once part of a plate; according to Julie it dates back to the second half of the 18th century. I also found a vertebra (back bone) of a cow.
This week has been very hard work and tiring. However, it has also been fun and a good learning experience. I can’t wait to get back in the trench next Monday and to see what we uncover next!