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, 11 May 2016
Day 3: Muddy heroes
We arrived at the site today to find flooded ditches and soggy, wet soil; the mud formed a thick additional layer to ouralready rugged footwear, so gathering traction on site was hard work, yet not a single casualty was reported.
Team morale never faltered and the unsung heroes of today’s show were the brave men and women that volunteered to clear the spoil accumulated by the rapid diggers, the weather had transformed our once tame spoil heap into a giant crumbling body-hugging mudpie, nearly consuming every barrow that attempted the climb. Our heroes resorted to taking loose materials up one bucket at a time, using ingenuity to add both planks and stones into the pathway to give traction.
The day’s goal was to clear away as much of the top soil as possible before lunch leaving little to be done before the tarps come off and the new archaeology is revealed! The progress of our excavation is advancing, not at all hindered by the many near face-plants and muddy faces; the remains of the medieval house and Roman road are really starting to show as the dig continues.
To the relief of some, our group was sent away to take some measurements while the rest risked life and limb to unclog the site. We spent the morning using the dumpy level and total station, while also having a quick break to try and feed some archaeology hungry squirrels.
The second half of our day was spent doing some real hands-on work down in the main trench, with the dastardly Dan correcting the edge of the site, a fresh heap of earth found itself sitting in our freshly excavated trench, obscuring the medieval wall. This setback was but temporary however, as with our ruthless efficiency the earth was no match for us, and thusly we had the honour of removing the tarpaulin from the exposed building, allowing our excavation to surpass the depths reached in the previous year, one can barely contain the excitement for adventure and discovery.