Well its our last week, and that means that this will be my final blog entry. In the last 4 weeks we have all worked very hard and have gone from being curious students who were nervous about getting stuck in lest we inadvertantly destroy a find, to being confident enough to take a mattock to the ground. Our skills have increased greatly and I don't think there's a single person from our group that hasn't been bitten by the archaeology bug. Yesterday we were delighted to open our gates to the public for an open day (coinciding with the torch going past our dig site) and were very pleased with the numbers of people we managed to get in to see the site and some of our finds. Although this meant that our day was longer leaving us a little more tired, it was definitely worth it.
After yesterday's celebrations we began to realise that we have now hit midweek and our time is running out. Although you would expect that this would see us winding down with our work on the site it has had the opposite effect; there is now a great sense of urgency to try to get as much done to the areas that we have been working on as possible. So I spent my morning with "Del" my trusty hand trowel digging through a layer of brick, clay and mortar searching for the limits of the sandy layer that is a part of the late/post medieval hearth. As the hearth is located right next to the chapel wall this meant that finds were scarce... mainly small fragments of animal bone, and I found myself missing the clay pipes that we had all gotten a little disillusioned with due to the multitude that were discovered in the first weeks making them less exciting. The monotony of having no finds was broken up by our token duck (who I like to call Goose) that likes to visit our Roman Road Trench for a paddle in the puddle there.
This afternoon was spent at the finds lab finishing our individual reports that will eventually become part of our portfolios for the university course and bagging up our finds ready to go into storage or be sent to specialist laboratories for analysis/conservation. The sense of urgency at the finds lab is now equal to that of the dig site, if not more so, as every day there are a great number of bags of finds that are sent in to be cleaned and assessed. As the cleaning and labelling process is a fairly slow one, there is a danger of finds getting backed up, but hopefully we will be able to get them all washed and divided up before we have to end our project on Friday.
Working together as closely as we have been, we have all began to feel like a large, diverse family group and I'm sure we will all be sad to see it end. We have been through a lot together; back-breaking labour, the excitement of new finds, sunburn, meeting the public and learning new skills. Thank you to all the people who came to see us, and also to our supervisors and lecturers: Simon "the eager tourist", Dan "the troll hunter", Mike "the camera man", Gill and Julie "the finds experts", Jane "PR rep", and Meggen "boss of all".
Ed note: I'm not really the boss of all....!
|Sam seems at home in the finds room.|