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Showing posts from May 24, 2015
We're back for our 12th season. Keep up to date with all the discoveries, brought to you by our daily bloggers.

Day 14: Treasure at last!

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A very successful morning.  Whilst taking away the clay mound in the far northwest corner of the site, trying to determine whether we had another stone foundation, Meg began troweling what looked to be an emerald coloured stone. When we further analysed the object however, it became clear that it was much more precious and significant. A truly amazing discovery which captured the attention of all our group, as well as Julie and Dan. We thought we found an intact medieval coin engravined with a short cross. 

After further research by Julie and Dan it turns out that this small treasure is a Jetton counter. Not relating to currency or used for trading, but used during the medieval period as a calculationcounter, similar to an abacus but used on a chequered board/table. This particular Jetton piece is most likely to be French, indicated by its detailed design and was probably manufactured sometime in the 14th century. Jetton counters were popularly made in areas like Paris and were importe…

Some photos from week 3

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The Three B’s of Thursday- BaneCat, (Ron) Burgundy and Bees

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Thursday has been a day, to use a sporting punditry term, of two halves for team A. This morning we found ourselves with in the warm sanctuary of the finds room away from the sudden down pours. Our aim was to start separating out our clean finds, so that we had pottery, building material, bone, etc. in separate groups. We then had to describe what a select number of objects were like in those groups, e.g, colour, texture, condition, etc. To do this we were ably supervised by Jill, who we no doubt preceded to irritate with our level of questioning, which was somewhat a kin to an annoying five year old. After that task was finished we cracked out the tooth brushes and lukewarm water and set too cleaning yet more finds! 
However soon lunchtime arrived, and we were told to down tools. Our lunch break was spent enjoying the hilarity of BaneCat, a must watch for anyone with a love for batman, cats or with a sense of humour! 
After Lunch we returned to site, where Dan and I, faced what was bec…

Day 13: Is it greyish-brown? Nah its browny-grey mate…

I’m not really sure what to say to be honest… gone are the days that an excited Daniel looked forward to getting out of bed to rush to this once captivating experience of archaeology even if it is a fabricated version of a much coarser, unforgiving version of commercial archaeology. The shelter from realism is a dangerous filter, one that I am sure will become apparent later in life. 
Today I found myself debating with Sid the sloth whether a piece of Roman, that turned out to be medieval, pottery was the 35th or 36th shade of grey. The answer of which still evades me. Those initial gleeful days spent excavating every fragmented piece of indiscernible bone soon came back to bite as my attempts to clean with my trusty Colgate tooth brush, there are other brands of tooth brushes available, was inevitably futile. The only worthwhile thing to look forward to, to bring the day back from the ashes was a pasty from Pasty & Co, there are other pasty retailers available. It burnt my tongue.…

Excavation Open Day - we look forward to seeing you there

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Day 12: Rachael's story continues...

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Hello lovely internet humans! And obviously the secret aliens.
Today was a fine morning for another finds session, but this time there was no 'weshin'.  No no, it begin with detective work... well somewhat detective work. We needed to begin categorizing the finds, which meant splitting the types of finds into different groups and beginning to describe the assemblages we had. Using magnifying glasses we could look up and close at our little ceramic sherds and see if they clay had inclusions or we could look at bone with the magnifying glass too to observe any decoration or cut marks. I have included plenty of photographs of the finds sessions for you, our ADORING internet public! You will also be able to see the writing on the sherd, we did this last week (believe or not the ink and those 'told fountain pens). We marked anything that can absorb the ink and artefacts which will not be damaged by the writing process.


Aaaaaaaaaah the afternoon time for tea and scones! Well not…

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…

Day 11: Finds and fancy pens

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Day 11 on the dig and I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of these early mornings. After walking to the site and staring at the clouds above I was convinced today was going to be a cold dark day with the odd rain shower. However much to my excitement my team, group D got told that we were washing and marking finds until lunch. This may not sound overly exciting but the fact I was going to be out in the cold for the morning brightened my mood greatly. 
The four of us sat around a bunch of tables and discussed the finds we had in front of us, which we had worked on in previous sessions. The theme of this session was marking the finds.  We discussed which finds and materials could be marked and what finds and materials couldn’t. After we had filled in our worksheets required for the third elelment of our portfolio we then were told to begin marking the finds. Expecting to be given some fancy pen to write on the finds with, I was then given a pot of ink and a basic quill to wri…

Day 11: Eyuuuuuup! 'thother blog by Tha Yorkshire lass

Today started slow, after a three day weekend and an essay, aye it began a bit slow BUT we got back into the swing of it by first break. Although somebody did fall asleep *COUGH* Kate *COUGH* ('told lass dint get much kip') The weather today was 'orate', a little sunny in places sometimes cloudy and a bit chilly through the day.  Today my task was to finish removing and level a specific area on site, to see what on earth these suspicious rocks are, and once I get it all removed we might be able to see! So keep Tha eye on the blog folks and keep reading. I did not get a lot of finds, a few small bones and bits of reddish ceramics but its nice to be out and excavating anyway. While I kept busy, Kate, Megan and Ellen started removing a clay deposit that had previously taken two days to make a site drawing and taken levels off. So I think they thoroughly enjoyed removing it after waiting so long. After not long I heard excitement as they unveiled a rib, a shoulder bone an…