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.
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Wednesday, 27 May 2015
Day 11 of ‘The Big Dig’ ...
Day 11 of ‘The Big Dig’ and group D have spent the day rehearsing their Cinderella skills and bailing out their trench … Although, we are most definitely not sinking.
The first part of the day was spent finds processing, which consisted of myself and my team marking the pottery objects that we had previously washed last week with the sites code, trench and context number. It was amazing to see the objects clean and dry and the sense of achievement was overwhelming. After all, some of the objects present may have been used some 2,000 years ago. A different time, a different civilisation, a different set of social values. It’s in my blood; I just want to know all that I can about the people who used these objects, if only there was such a thing as a time machine. Mind, in hindsight, would there be any need for us archaeological folk if there was?! This is one of the main reasons I came to Chester to study archaeology, that connection with people of the past through the objects recovered, their objects, it is just so fascinating.
The afternoon was spent bailing out the bottom of our trench which had filled with water over the weekend, not an easy task when the soil is so clayey. Myself and Kate then proceeded to start drawing our first section drawing with the aid of the wonderful Dan (the man). Now, doing a section drawing sounds easy, but when numbers start to come into it my brain just shuts down. The amount of times that I have had to count the little squares is unbelievable, poor Kate!
I must say I love my trench. Mattocking through the top of the solid Medieval topsoil to remove the fill from the ditch that we had discovered was no easy feat. I have been battered, bruised, bled, been rained on almost daily, and I’ve loved it all. It took a lot of hard work, but the bottom of the Medieval ditch, distinguished from a dark brown silt clay fill to an orangey-brown clay, was revealed last week, and I was so overjoyed.
Although, overall low in finds compared to other teams, we have so far unearthed cattle teeth and bone including a mandible with teeth still intact, medieval pottery and ceramic materials including Ewloe ware and a floor tile with decoration and slip glaze, Roman pottery including black-burnished ware and Samian ware, Oyster shell and metal including slag and nails.
Who knew that soil could make you so happy!