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Found anything good yet?

Lauren offers insight into treasure hunting:
As the previous two days of our dig have been extreme opposites (one of beautiful sunshine and the other of heavy rain) today looked to be reasonably mild on the weather front. The majority of the day was spent on all fours in the mud clearing away the backfill from the site. Which leads me to some reflection on the finding of ‘treasure’. One of the most commonly asked questions of the public to archaeologists is “found anything yet?”. Although meant in good favour and mostly from someone who holds a genuine interest in our subject, it is so easy to get wrapped up in this obsession with finding something of worth. Even other archaeologists ask similar questions. Today’s task led to some interesting discoveries, on my part large amounts of animal bone in varying sizes. But my mind started to query the significance of such discoveries, what does this actually tell us about this site? That there were once animals here? Possibly, but all we have proof of is that their bones finally rested in this place, not that they were alive here. And thus the answer to the original question is clear; yes we have found something, but it only lets us glimpse at the context in which the find was deposited at the site. Final conclusions need more than just one piece of bone found in some backfill. Therefore we must journey forward, to more complicated excavation techniques if we are to answer the more detailed questions. If I take anything away from this experience it will be that ‘treasure’ is not the be all and end all of archaeology.
Lauren cleaning back.

Matt B. highlights photography skills:
Our third day started by mopping up puddles of water from all the rain from the day before. This did not take as long as I was expecting thanks to some sponges. We then carried on cleaning the site of backfill from previous excavations. This involves scraping away dirt until we get to the clean archaeology that has not been disturbed yet. A couple of finds came up from doing this, mostly broken pottery, bone, a few small metal objects and yet more clay tobacco pipe stems! My group then had a quick revision session on setting up a dumpy level and how to measure the height of features, a lot of standing around holding a pole was involved.

The afternoon saw my group getting behind the lens of the cameras and learning what is needed to take good archaeological pictures. We practised taking pictures of the whole site, individual features and how to take straigraphic pictures (along with pictures of anything we could see when no one was looking). After becoming true professional photographers, it was time to get dity again and finis the day with more cleaning of site.

Matt B. looks the part of the photographer.