Showing posts from May 18, 2014
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Day 14: Late update - Mud & Romans

Water levels rose throughout the day, but there was still work to be done. After all - there's only 1 week left!


Today was wet -  very wet. However, the day was a good one. For the first half of the day I was recording finds in Albion Street. The other groups came to join us in washing finds when it was too wet to do any substantial digging on site. After doing the long job of sorting and recording all of the unstratified finds, we did made it back on site.
I carried on excavating the same context I have been doing for the last few days, whilst trying not to be engulfed by the rising water later of the ditch to the left of me. Flooding seemed imminent since unfortunately I knew I had to get down to the same level of that ditch. In the last quarter of the day I managed to start unearthing some decent finds, which was a relief as I had been hearing Tom and Dave complain for the last few days that they had too  many! Some of the finds included the base of a Roman ceramic d…

Day 14: Bank Holiday Weather but the archaeology doesn't mind

Today saw more periodic drenching of the team.  Whilst some escaped to the relative dry of the finds processing room, others battled it out as long as they could on site. Here's hoping our Open Day on Tuesday is drier than this!


Today was focused around post-excavation processes for finds, because archaeology does not end after an artefact is recovered. The first stage  is to wash the finds; this is a labor of love as it requires a delicate touch and patience, but only certain finds can be washed such as bone and pottery as other materials, for example iron, can be destroyed if washed. After the finds are washed and dried it's on to the next stage in the process, which for us is to mark the finds with the relevant site code so that if misplaced they can be returned to their proper place. This is a tricky and delicate endeavor that requires using waterproof ink, a fountain pen and a steady hand. Alas, I lack the latter so this was a struggle for me at first, but by t…

Day 13: The Plot Thickens

It's nearly the end of Week 3 and with only days left on the dig, the discoveries are coming in thick and fast. The finds are pretty mixed so we are still in disturbed contexts, but things are certainly hotting up...

Thursday mornings are group C's half day so obviously I spent the morning doing uni work. After walking to site work quickly began, but with many of the deep holes filled up with water the places that were workable were limited. The pit that Dave and I have been excavating needed another layer taking off with the mattock...but as I swung the mattock into the ground for the first time, it uncovered a bone. It is easy to see the week's hard work taking its toll on the students working on site, and today it was rather quiet as everyone was noticeably tired, with the constant drizzle not helping. The site is becoming a lot clearer and easy to understand now whilst everyone has their own particular part of site, becoming more and more possessive of it! however, …

Press Release: Open Day May 27th

Our Annual OPEN DAY event will be held on Tuesday May 27th in the afternoon from about 1pm - 4pm.  There will be signs up to guide you into the park and over to the trench.  We'll have lots of things to see including some of our stellar finds from this year and past years.  You'll get to have a tour and explanation of what's happening on site and the latest on the interpretation of the medieval activity we've discovered PLUS some kid-friendly activities, too! (There may even be a visit from this elusive superhero we've heard something about...)

See our press release here:

Hope to see lots of you there!

Day 12: Going Medieval

We are well into Week 3 now and stone-built structures are starting to take shape across the trench...but what date could they be? And are Team 2014 being creatively inspired by the archaeology or simply going mad? You be the judge...

The weather has been a strange mix of both lovely and awful, meaning we're still left bailing water out of deep holes while it is still incredibly sunny. However, I am reassured that it is going to get much much worse, so I suppose I have that to look forward to. Not a great deal going on in my section of the trench, but the rest of the site is coming along nicely. Much more of the pit/possible moat has been uncovered (though hindered greatly by water today) and more of the possibly medieval stone structure has been exposed. Some groups are making progress on site drawing and most of us have now filled in context sheets. In other news, the water war between Adam and Freya has escalated, with Adam being soaked multiple times but with no intenti…

Action shots!


Day 10: A great British bake-off

Week 3 kicks off with some intense sun and some intense trowelling...

Arriving on site and finding that the clayey soil has been baked hard by the sun can be a little disheartening; however with a little team effort the ground was soon being mattocked and prepared for trowelling. Jordy, Brad and I have been digging the same square for a about a week now, and although we are making good progress, we have had relatively few artefacts. Today, however, was the marking of a new era and a bounty of animal bone was found, along with a few sherds of pot, floor tile and slate roof tile. Maybe tomorrow we'll find a full skeleton!

Day 10 saw Laura and I continue our work in the westerly corner of trench. Brick after brick was revealed as I got going with my trowel. Laura on the other hand was pulling out some impressive animal bones - see above! When we first discovered the alignment of stone that makes up our feature, we thought it was perhaps a medieval oven, but the sha…