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The first day on the dig was certainly interesting – the weather turned from grey to sunshine before we’d even gotten out into the field and promised to continue for the rest of the day. Despite the slightly creepy building that was closed to due to fire damages, the short walk to the site held minimal issues. Whilst I was not even aware Chester had a park, which always struck me as odd, apparently it does and it’s a beautiful landscape. The area which our trench is set in is close to the road and one of the entrances so people that might be interested can come and watch, and perhaps catch one of us for a quick question or talk. After being put in our groups and given our respective areas, the “it’s so hot” and “I’m going to lose so much weight” comments broke out after a few minutes of digging (to which I’m sure the dirt and loose rocks/slates were happy to help with the latter goal). Our first tea break resulted in me falling asleep whilst Jenny flaunted some homemade cookies behind our small group and gave us a promise of cake at some point in the dig – a true hero to us all.
After the break and returning to work, our particular group had the pleasure of digging far enough down to encounter a pipe, blocking our current digging path and causing us to go elsewhere. Simon gave wise words on how we should approach pipes (“always assume they’re live”), and we continued digging in another direction. Finds of clay pipes and pottery shards were being found across all different groups with a varying degree of excitement to each find. A small group of children came to admire the hardworking archaeologists that were bravely digging on the site, and were soon joined by some elderly going through the park, and eventually having the time to reach us and ask a few some questions about the site. With fingers crossed, the weather will continue and no mud or cold archaeologists will be encountered in the next four weeks.