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The end of the dig is upon us... it brings sun and a well-deserved trip to the pub...

Helen wishes next year's team well: 

My blog post from the first day talked about the excitement of starting digging and the chore of removing backfill. Well, 4 weeks later we all entered the site excited to see the return of the sun (which of course only appeared on the first and last days) but sad to have reached the end of the excavation. Before morning tea break we: cleared the site of water that had accumulated over the past few days; put down a new breathable fabric layer (terram) to protect the site till next year and disassembled to marquee that we had for the last week. Over tea break games of frisbee and football were played (to make the most of the sun) with friends we had made over the excavation.

Bailing out the rain water
We then recapped some of the photography tips from previous weeks. Returning to Grosvenor Park for lunch break we witnessed the JCBs putting the soil back in the trench. The speed at which to machines seem to undo 4 weeks work was both upsetting and captivating.

The afternoon was spent washing the remainder of the finds in the sun with an ice cream. Then all that was left to do was remove the fencing surrounding the now bleakly flat site. Even though we all knew this day was coming it was still a shock how quickly the end of the dig came round. But to celebrate a good months work we, as all archaeologists do, retreated to the pub.

I very much enjoyed my first excavation experience and can’t wait for my next opportunity to dig. Finally, I would like to wish next year's 2nd year archaeology students at the University of Chester the best of luck removing the extra backfill we created for them, especially in Chris, Marc and Lauren’s ditch.

Michael enjoyed his time at the dig:

Well today was the final day of the four week excavation in Grosvenor Park. This morning we placed fresh terram over the site, which was fairly simple and did not take much time at all. Once the terram was placed, we were then tasked to take down the large tent that was put up a few days ago for the open day. Once that was complete, we were all moved to Albion Street, where we had a lecture on how not to take an archaeological photo.

During lunch, the JCB’s came in and started to fill the site back in with four weeks’ worth of spoil. I think a great many of us found it quite heart-breaking due to all that work we did being filled back in just like that.

In the afternoon there were still finds to be washed, so we were all tasked with washing the remaining finds, but we did it outside due to the nice weather. After the finds washing we had to collect the fences from the site and deposit them back in the compound.  All in all I found it an engaging and enjoyable experience and I feel that I understand archaeology a lot more now than I did before!

Finds washing al fresco!


Andrew reflects on the blood, sweat and tears:

The last day of our 4 week excavation is finally over. It's been fun and a great experience. Friday consisted of moving terram, falling down holes, washing finds and carrying fences. To top that all off the day ended with a pint at the Falcon.

When we arrived on site at lunch it was a mixture of relief and sadness to see the JCBs piling the dirt in on a site we had spent our blood, sweat and tears excavating. Without a doubt I will be visiting the site next year to see what the year below gets up to and to see what else is uncovered about the site, it's been a blast.

Covering the site to protect the archaeology from the backfilling and save our place for next year!

Well done team CAER 2013...
and take two, with Julie (and Marc!!!)...