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Wednesday's Updates: Bones, Rain and Lottery Wins

Lauren and Sydney excavate animal bone:
After the last couple of days of beautiful sunshine, this morning started off with drizzling rain and thus excavation on site was called off and the morning was spent washing bricks in the dry mess room. Although messy work, it is quite therapeutically calming. Other groups were weighing and cleaning the musket balls found in the spoil heap by the metal detectorist we work with. Today also coincided with the Queen’s Jubilee visit to Chester Zoo and a frantic effort was made using Twitter to ask her to visit our site. We were disappointed, but then it was quite short notice!
Work started again in the afternoon as Group A finally saw some hard work (our avoidance of it has not been by choice - though you won’t catch any of us complaining) and began mattocking another section of the trench. This led to a massive amount of animal bones being discovered, and I really do mean massive, in both size and numbers. Myself and Dan M. were on ‘trowel duty’ -  as the boys peeled back the layer with their mattocks we were called upon to excavate the bones. Many of which were impressively intact and obviously from a large animal. With the last few days of the second week and the half-way point drawing near I am becoming rather attached to my trowel, affectionately known as ‘Sydney’.  A note is to be added in credit to Jonathan the ‘Diceman’, after finding three bone dice in the last three days, celebration was needed and subsequently he is now £90 richer after winning the lottery. He is now the luckiest, but most envied man on site. And yet is still complaining he “never finds anything!”
Lauren (in purple) and others in her group wash bricks from the hearth structure.

Matt B. finds Continental pottery... and more animal bone:
Wednesday ended well for me, I found a large piece of Rhenish stoneware dating to between 1650 - early 1700's AD. I thought Thursday was going to carry on being good, but that wasn't too be. Today started with rain, lots of rain. Working on the dig site was put on hold for the time being due to the rain; instead we had indoor activities. We were split into two groups, one group cleaned bricks from the hearth and the other weighed all the lead shot that has been found from the site over the past few years. I was involved with weighing the lead shot. A simple process that involved scales and a recording sheet. Well, simple for the first hundred lead balls anyway. Monotony soon kicked in and the mind began to wander!

Just before dinner, the rain had stopped so it was decided we would take all the equipment to the site in preparation for continuing work. The afternoon for me started with creating drawings of a single context in plan view, something close to what we did on last year's fieldwork (on Halkyn Mountain). Mike and I had a grid set up and we had to measure points of significance then plot them onto a draughting sheet and join them up to make the plan. We both just wanted to dig! We got our wish for the last half hour of the working day, but with very little of anything interesting coming up. Hopefully tomorrow will be full of treasure, not bone, please no more bone!

Lead shot number 101.....