Showing posts from May 22, 2016
We're back for our 12th season. Keep up to date with all the discoveries, brought to you by our daily bloggers.

Heritage and that old Chestnut

Digging holes and interpreting what we find within forms a part of the role of an archaeologist. This is what we've been telling the numerous people who've stopped by to inspect our rather wonderful excavation. But why do it in such a very public place? Clearly the very obvious response is, because that’s where the archaeology is. However, we could just as easily clear off to a hillfort in Wales, excavating, recording and interpreting as we go; and we do.
Whilst the latter ticks all the boxes in terms of archaeological research it also lowers accessibility to the public generally and we run the risk of inadvertently returning archaeology to a realm of exclusivity typified by Chester’s amphitheatre excavations during the 1960’s. You’ll notice from the photograph that the impenetrable wall surrounding the site pretty much rules out any prospect of public participation; it also kept the archaeologists out of pubs, which is possibly a good thing. I realise that I am, to a greate…

Day 14 – The rain and the road

So today got off to a wet and bleak start - but it soon picked up and got better as the morning progressed. It was back to digging out a fill near the edge of the trench, in which we managed to find bits of pottery, animal bone and a tooth. A section drawing of the feature was also taken, which triggered a very productive afternoon!
The lifting of the Roman road also continued today which led to a very large number of finds, these are going to take some serious sorting! We are also thinking there may be a possible cess pit, Jonathan had fun with the smells coming out of that. 
We also had a couple of school visits today.  They really enjoyed seeing some exciting finds and learning about the site in general. It’s really great to see young people engaging with archaeology!
Overall it's not been the most exciting day in Grosvenor Park but we have made some seriously good progress and looking forward to what else we can find in the reducing time we have left.  
Dig Team A

The section that …

DAY 13: The Horde descends

Day three of week three Team E (still recovering from its laughing fit yesterday) continued carving through the western section of the trench:
Just after lunch we were visited by a horde of school children wanting to look at what we’d found and eager with questions about the Archaeology and the Romans. Talking to them was actually quite fun they seemed very inspired by the finds and interested in the bones and pottery in particular. 
Aaron and Hannah carried on removing the soil of their portion ending up with an excellently neat section by the end of the day. They managed to find plenty of pottery sherds from varying dates even finding a large chunk of handle and rim with some decoration on it.
Iwan and Lee continued their plight against the never-ending clay and managed to excavate a large hunk of bone out of the Roman rubble layer that they have been chasing all week before they remove it completely.
Meanwhile we finished excavating and cleaning a brick section near the corner, the day…

Day 12: Not so daunting after all

The second day of the third week seemed so daunting on the first day. However time has flown by and now there does not seem to be enough time left.
 Today was again a day were time flew. Team D again was split into two groups one of which were tasked with expanding context that we had been working for nearly the entire time that we have spent on site. Unfortunately the context was not as nice to us today as there were very little finds. In terms of what had been found today there was not many of great importance however Mona had a two sections of an unfused vertebra. 
Unfortunately after the morning came to an end and even with the help of Joe we just about managed to find the bottom and the end of the context.  After being in the same spot for what feels like forever, clearing a deposit of which we thought was a Roman feature, we had the misfortune to find out that it was in fact a hole made by a tree being uprooted. The excavation of this context was not in vain as Roman glass and som…

Day 11: A tale of two diggers

Group D began the day by sorting through the finds from site. Like a group of rejected Harry Potter extras we sat there staring into the ink blots, fountain pens poised to label each item with its context.None in team D were well versed in the use of fountain pens and for some, not to name names, the knack of using one came harder than others…..Matt Wilkie.
After the break group E then joined us and we were treated to a short talk on animal bones by Ian, a specialist who had come to help hone our skills. Bags of bone were handed out with the task of identifying the type of bone and the animal it belonged to, which proved to be challenging but really interesting. The hardest part of this process turned out to be working out which side of the animal the bone had come from. Relief from this came by finding the odd vertebral bones from time to time. After lunch we eagerly rushed to the site to do some digging and get some finds of our own. We were both given the task of mattocking down an …

Week Two Comes to a Close

With a Friday vibe onsite today, there was an enthusiasm to finish areas and round up the week.  
Onsite, good progress has been made,reaching the natural geology, the recording and subsequent excavation a selection of roman pits and post holes, in the north and south eastcorners of the trenchare nearly finished. 
A multi-facetted investigation of the medieval structure has given us some more clues as to its construction and potential uses. An intrusive section has been cut into the outer wall of the medieval building to see how far it was built in to the drainage ditch, whilst also confirming there were two stages of façade with a substantial supporting infill, of large masonry blocks. 
Yesterdays deluge of rain had turned the rock hard clay into a workable surface, after an intensive trowelling session a few new features came to light within the structure; a third fireplace emerged (to add to the suspected oven like hearths, currently being drawn and planned), two medieval pits and an …