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Chris reflects on a day of mud, puddles and shovels

Day 3 at the site and the weather had taken a turn for the worse with ominous grey clouds threatening us from the start of the day. Once again no respite was in sight (excuse the rhyme) for group A who grabbed their weapon of choice – mine being the mattock – and once again into the breach, starting work on a new trench having completed their original task the day before. This new trench, it would soon become clear, was a different animal with a seemingly undiscovered base. However, after a whole mornings work and various layers of clothing being shed and reapplied we finally reach the bottom and managed to join up with the rest of the trench finishing the largest trench on the site just as the rain began to fall. Once again we came across some small finds - pieces of pottery and of course the now obligatory pieces of clay pipe!! However the dwindling number of finds did not dishearten the groups and it was strange seeing so many people proud of a hole!!

With the afternoon came heavier rain and the eventual ‘abandon ship’ order back to the mess shed where we were shown how to fill in a context sheet along with just how much information is needed to accurately record a site. It was during this ‘class’ that we received the bad news that our dear friend the Gazebo has passed away, the rain wind and battering of two years of excavation have become too much, gone but never forgotten.  After our context sheet lesson we ventured out into the ever worsening rain and wind back to the site to try and remove some of the exposed Terram, a job that proved harder than the previous day as the site was now a slippery mud bath and although we did get some of the Terram up we did eventually have to give in and leave for the day (much to my disappointment).  All in all today wasn’t too bad, we had mud, we had puddles and we had shovels, what more can an aspiring archaeologist need?

Chris taking a well-earned break from mattocking on Day 3.