CAER 2017 Begins... Thursday 4th May!

CAER 2017 Begins... Thursday 4th May!
What will be uncovered this year?
We're back for our 11th season during which examination of trench IV will be continued. Our work will examine the interior of the masonry building (the possible chapel) with its drain discharging into the ditch, the western part of the ditch feature where it is overlain by the medieval building and the underlying deposits. This year trench IV will also be extended to the south in order to locate and examine a stone structure identified during the excavation of a service trench in 2013.
Keep up to date with all the discoveries, brought to you by our daily bloggers.

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Saturday, 25 May 2013

Dani and Liam report on progress at the end of Week 3! Hasn’t it gone quickly folks?

Danielle  finds evidence for French cuisine? 

Today I was working on an area near the wall of the building, I was gradually taking down the soil and found a large amount of snail shells and evidence of charcoal. Dan was not sure if it might be a feature or if it was a waste pit like Frances and Christian have been working on next to me. I will be continuing on with this area on Tuesday until I have come to the bottom of the charcoal.

Liam avoids spoilers and gets spoils:

Today, for me, was generally made up of the same activity. Excavating mine and Liz's trench never seemed to end, mortar and brick becoming the new bane of our lives. Luckily the site was calm and allowed everyone to have a friendly chat while working. Whilst avoiding spoilers for the ‘Song of Ice and Fire’, I managed to find some more carved stone, bone, lead, pottery and a shaped piece of quartz possibly from a Roman ring (cool! – Ed.). I plan to enjoy the three day weekend and prepare myself for the open day on Tuesday.

A quick note from Amy:
We are not digging over the Bank Holiday weekend but we will be back on site and ready to show you our finds and discoveries so far at the Open Afternoon on Tuesday - come down to the park from 1.30pm for site tours, finds and more!! See you there!


Dani and Chris report on a rainy Thursday in week 3:

Danielle is ‘finding’ things useful (geddit?):

When we arrived it was raining and after a site check it was decided that all of us would go to do finds washing in the finds store. The morning consisted of finds washing with groups A, C and D continuing on with the excavation work after lunch. My group of Liam, James and Liz were all scheduled to have a finds session so after lunch we stayed put. However, this time we were working through our find sheets and separating the marked finds into different groups such as pottery, glass, and industrial material. These sessions have been useful to understand how finds are recorded and catalogued.

Chris finds his bottom!

RAIN!! And for only the second time in the last 3 weeks we are rained off and have to retreat to the finds room. This retreat is somewhat welcomed as it is also freezing, so much so that many of us are beginning to doubt it’s June at all. So for the morning all of the groups set about finds washing except for my group who get another finds recording lesson, this time covering small finds and how to correctly catalogue them. The morning wore on and by lunch time the sun is back…. The cold remains but we are half way there and, with this, work begins again in earnest.

Once again Marc and I return to our pit which now feels not far off 10ft deep - although in reality it's closer to 3 - and begin to remove the pool of water that has filled it. This however becomes the least laborious  job of the day as after the water is removed all that remains is a glue-like clay sludge which we spend the rest of the day trying to remove and clean back to reveal…. finally the bottom of our pit!!! It is the small victories that get us through the day.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Hayley, Rhianna and Helen report on Wednesday's activities

Hayley spends the day trowelling for finds:

Today we focused on excavating a medieval deposit next to the Roman road, this was a slow process of trowelling down and back, rather tedious but the only way we could collect the smaller finds. For instance, today we excavated the jaw bone of a pig with all the teeth still in situ as it were. We also spoke to some interesting people today, one guy was telling us about a construction site where they found a Roman well, he said they excavated a lot of brooches, the best I've achieved so far is a bead ;) The weather stayed fine today and the rain from the day before made the soil much more pliable.

Rhianna explains the Roman Road to the public

It’s Wednesday, Week 3, and my group continued to remove another layer from our section and finally completed it today. During this we found more pottery and bones, including a handle. We then proceeded to trowel the area to see what was underneath the loose soil and to make it more level. During this process Cat and I were singing different songs and really annoying Hayley, until she got her own back by singing 'that’s amore'. We then proceeded to create our own sample section where we found a jaw bone and a few other smaller bones before the day ended. Also in the morning it was our group's turn to talk to the public where they asked about the items we found and what time period they were from. They also asked about the features we had dug up and we showed them where the Roman Road would be and where the building and wall was.

Helen gets some practice marking finds:

Today Team D spent the morning marking finds with the site code and context number they came from. This may sound simple but was quite difficult. First the finds needed to be separated into those that were to be marked and those that weren’t. Bone and metal finds are not marked as it can damage them and crucial identification points can be hidden on bone. Then we needed to learn how to use the Harry Potter pens. This took a while but eventually we were ready to write on the finds. When we had finished we spent the rest of the morning finds washing.

Back on site in the afternoon Team D were responsible for talking to the public about the site. I enjoy this a lot however sometimes it is difficult to be pulled away from your trench. I started on a new part of the trench today and while looking for another drainage channel came across plenty of bone and pot but also a copper alloy pin and hook, a piece of lead window flashing and an iron nail. Having such luck with this area I am excited to return to it tomorrow to see what is unearthed.

Tuesday 21st May

For Marc, Tuesday brings bones, bones and more bones…

Weather forecasters eh!’s forecast, warm and hazy sun, the reality, cold drizzle ALL day! Never mind, it didn’t stop me and my little team of Chris and Lauren making impressive headway with our digging. 3 foot down and the outlined features of what could be a culvert running to a pit are beginning to show through nicely. Our trowelling also brought up another lot of goodies, well, mostly animal bone, with a little Cistercian ware thrown in, but mainly bone. Hmmm....bones. If there’s one thing the last few days of digging have revealed in plenty its these, so much so that we are all getting a little sick of the sight of them.  Good job we haven’t got a lecture this afternoon on them........

The afternoon sees us out of the rain and our damp hole and into Albion Street for a lecture on............bones!!!!

A visiting lecturer from Liverpool John Moores University imparts his considerable expertise on the many facets of bioturbation and soil sampling and also identifies many of our own bone finds for us, which, all sarcasm aside, was actually very helpful. After this session of enlightenment we head back to our trench for the last hour and more digging.  I definitely think we are going to need the stepladders soon.......

Marc, Lauren and Chris making good progress with their section across what appears to be a very large pit!

Michael makes his mark!

Today me and the rest of my group spent the morning washing more finds from the different contexts throughout the site, and marked the clean pieces with pen and ink in order for other people to recognise where the artefacts originated. I found the marking very enjoyable because it was different to the things I have done so far on the dig.

In the afternoon, all of us had a lecture on environmental archaeology in which we learned about different bone types and the location of bones in the environment. Overall, today has been a break from simply excavating the site and a welcome one since the weather today was pretty poor. I am looking forward to getting back to the excavation side of the work-based learning.

A long but enjoyable day for Liz:

Today started off with handing in the public archaeology essay which was good as it means there is only one more assignment to go till we finish! And Amy had brought us pastries! We got to site and continued with the previous work we had been doing. There were a fair few people off doing other activities so the site was quite quiet for once! The misty rain made the morning quite dull and didn’t make the people who were feeling ill much better. In the afternoon we received a lecture on environmental archaeology which was interesting because we learnt all about sampling and how to recognise different animals just by looking at the bone. By the end of the day I think we were all quite glad to get home and go to sleep!

 One of the many animal bones recovered from the site - so who can tell us what it is?