Showing posts from May 8, 2016
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Day 5: Touching new archaeology!

So it’s the end of our first week excavating, and after the endless amount of backfill being removed the whole site is finally getting down to new archaeology that has not been seen since its time of deposition, exciting! 
Our first week has been a success (though I think we have all learned our lessons about not wearing sun cream or hats) and everyone is getting to know the site really well and enjoying working on the different aspects of the excavation. 
All of the groups have started on their own sections and are uncovering quite a few exciting finds, the most talked about of the day being a Roman gaming piece, a tile with an indented paw print, a rosary bead and a lot of animal bone!
One of the edges of the Roman Road has now been revealed and defined while work to uncover the other side is still ongoing, with the aim to hopefully excavate underneath the road and road side ditches once they have been recorded. Group A have also uncovered a series of stones with surrounding burnt mate…

Day 4: the locals have accepted our presence and begun to approach.

Figure 1: "I am the bucket queen: no one can out bucket me". Genuine quote.

Today barrowing became mercifully light as shovel monkeys became trowel monkeys and we pulled back the Terramsheeting; finally starting on some fresh archaeology.
As the day progressed features gained definition, the stones of the Roman road becoming more defined and the as yet unexplored eastern end of the area was trowelled in anticipation of coming excavation.
New finds came with the added satisfaction of a new strata, they included a considerable number of teeth, and a near complete humerus(upper arm) bone (not human thank goodness). Pottery became distinctly more medieval with pot handles and patterned floor tiles, the latter possibly attributable to the suspected chapel.

Figure 2: patterned medieval floor tile
With the day's pleasant weather came curious passers-by; many of us made conversation, attempting to explain a sight we had only just gotten our heads around (or as Amiko put it “I only kn…

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 m…

Day 2: Never ending mud!

Today was a continuation from yesterday shifting the rest of the backfill so we can get down to the previous year archaeology. At one point it definitely felt like there was no end to the bottom of the pit as the watery slush of mud consumed our feet. However, with team effort it was all done just after lunch, well, till Dan then decided to spade away the outer wall into the pit so it was no longer nice and clean! There was a much better feel on site with everyone helping where they could, finding muscles we never knew we had by lifting buckets full of wet mud and borrowing up the growing spoil heap.
With the aid of doughnuts at break time provided by Caroline we had the sugar boost we needed to shift the majority of the backfill. We have managed to find some pottery, glass, bone and other cool stuff just in the back fill so we are hoping to find even cooler stuff when we actually get down to the new year archaeology.
At lunch a class of school children came over and we were able to sho…

Day 2: A sea of sweat and sorrow

After yesterday’s scorching heat, this morning was no different! Lots of sweaty diggers were working really hard to clear the mud that was soggy. I mean really soggy which meant that our feet got stuck... not so much fun! But the teams worked their butts off to clear their areas. Even the rain in the afternoon couldn’t deter us.
There’s a great group of people on the site and the atmosphere has been fantastic. Not even the pouring rain could wipe the smiles off people’s faces! So many laughs and jokes have been passed around and there will be some great stories throughout the dig, so stay posted! All the teams are finding various artefacts such as: bones, animal teeth, pottery, clay pipes and possibly some amber.We’re finally getting somewhere with the remains of last year's backfill so fingers crossed that we’ll start to do some proper excavating in the next day or so. This may include finding more on the Roman road or the Medieval house... Can’t wait! 
Team B have tomorrow morning…

It’s 2016 and the site is back open!

Today has mostly been about shifting as much dirt as possible and not melting in the 24 degree heat! The primary objective of the day was to introduce ourselves to the site and tidy it up so that we can continue from work carried out last year. 

After some hard work, a lot of the past years surface can be seen and soon it will be time to peel back the protective layer put down last year and really get stuck into investigating some exiting features, like the medieval house and the continuation of a previously excavated Roman road! We are really excited to get some serious excavating done and fingers crossed the weather holds out. 

Today as a whole we learnt some basics to shifting mud, and that sun cream is important.

There’s a lovely bunch of people on site, and some serious characters, so there could be some good stories to come out of the year!

For today, it’s over and out! We look forward to the rest of the dig.

-Becky and Robyn