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Thursday 16th May: Lauren, Chris and Liam reflect on Day 8

Lauren makes an impact on the public:

Today started off for our group with our 2nd crash course in archaeological photography - safe to say we all know the 3 steps by heart now! The afternoon was more eventful as lots of members of the public were intrigued by our finds from the day, and I blew one ladies mind by telling her I was scraping 400 year old poo out of a drain (never heard anyone so excited about excrement!). Find of the day has to go to Marc who found a lovely little bronze belt buckle, almost thrown away however as we initially thought it was green plastic - oops! Lovely weather, lovely day!

Chris has trench fever:

By the end of day 8 in the big brother trench things are taking a slight turn to the surreal with Alan Partridge quotes flying and many people seeming to be on the edge of delirium. However the day does not start this way it starts with another lesson in site photography this time focusing on particular contexts. The lesson is both informative and useful and it becomes clear the photographs can be an invaluable source for an archaeologist. However, due to the fact that I have the attention span of an 8 year old and an abundance of impatience, I can’t help but think that we could have painted the site quicker at times.

With the afternoon comes further excavation and trowel work with me, Marc and Lauren excavating a drain culvert and the beginnings of what appears to be a pit, with the find of the day going to MARC!! He found an intact buckle with leather still attached -  a fact he is more than happy to tell everyone whilst performing an arm movement that looks a little like the scene from Rocky where he reaches the top of the stairs and cheers alone, the similarity is uncanny. The biggest surprise of the day is how much people including myself are starting to enjoy talking to the public, sharing our finds and information. We no longer argue over who is going to go trying to pass the buck but in an attempt to get there first. It is most surprising to me how many people come over to have a look at our mess (excavation) and how taken aback and grateful people are that you take the time to talk to them. Hopefully these few minutes spent will help change people’s view of archaeology and what we do for the better. Long live public archaeology and the answering of the repetitive and ever present question, “found any treasure?”

Liam enjoys finds washing:

Today, group B was involved in a range of activities that kept us busy till the very end. We started with some mattocking to remove the top soil that was obscuring the lower levels. I was mainly shovelling away the spoil and looking for more finds to add to my list. We came across many pieces of pottery and bone but nothing large. After working hard at this section, we were taken away to do some photography. Originally planned for the afternoon, we took advantage of the nice weather and took some photos of the medieval wall and roman road visible on site. Lunch break was called just shortly after our photography session and we wandered around the amphitheatre waiting eagerly to get back to our section. Before we could do so, we had an enjoyable cleaning session with Julie where we learnt about the processes and need to wash the artefacts we had uncovered. To finish off the day, we made our way back to site to find our section already being covered. Disheartened, we were given team D's area just above the Roman Road instead. As this area has revealed a large number of finds, we suddenly brightened up and were more than happy to continue the hard work that had gone into this section of the trench.

Excavating above the Roman Road