CAER 2017 Begins... Thursday 4th May!

CAER 2017 Begins... Thursday 4th May!
What will be uncovered this year?
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.
Keep up to date with all the discoveries, brought to you by our daily bloggers.

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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Amy, Pauline, Sarah, Jamie and Jack report on Day 2 - the best finds always come at the end of a mattock….read on to find out more!

Another perfect day to start day two of the excavation on, the sun was scorching but the occasional breeze was enough to keep us cool. The digging started from where we left off yesterday, with us working on removing the top layer of soil to reach the beginning of the demolition layer. The soil had hardened after being baked by the sun which made getting through a little harder but worth the effort in the end. The first find on my side of the trench was, yet again, more clay pipe but as the day progressed we found pottery, animal bone and a musket ball.
Many members of the public approached the fence today ranging from children to seniors, from doctors to ‘rappers’. It was nice to see so many different people taking an interest in what we were doing and learning their thoughts on the excavation.
Hopefully, this weekend will be enough time for our tired bodies to recuperate from the last two days. Looking forward to what next week has in store.
Hard work paying off as the trenches are uncovered...
All the lovely weather and all the lovely finds. If we weren't clay pipe experts beforehand we will be shortly with the masses found alongside the demolition layer of a building. Some large chunks of bone in the finds tray turned out to be sheep bone which continues to appear across the trench, more exciting finds can surely only continue to appear.

Lots of lovely finds

Well, that’s today done and dusted - literally, as the hot weather continues.  The guys have done a great job of cleaning out last year’s excavation pit, and most of the tarpaulin is now removed, showing all of the walls, drains and other features there.  Some of them needed wellies as they hit the water table, and talk was of paddling pools....  In the new trench the girls were let loose with mattocks - be afraid!  So the site is levelled and they are getting down to the demolition layer.  More finds of pottery, clay pipe and bone, but I'll let someone else tell you about the really nice find from today…
The mattock crew

At the start of the day we continued to take the top layer off from day 1, using mainly mattocks and shovels. Around half an hour into day two I found a possibly late sixteenth century copper alloy spur using a mattock, the most destructive tool, I wasn’t expecting to find something so interesting so close to the surface in such good condition.
A wonderful copper alloy spur, probably dating from the late 16th century
Later in the day, Matt, Vicky and Ben found multiple long bones on the upper and lower left corner of the trench as well as this they also excavated a slate deposit. Whilst taking off the top soil layer with the mattocks the group found in total 7 musket balls as well as a few other bits of slag metal. Throughout the day we found loads of bits of clay tobacco pipes, large amounts of bones and ceramic/clay pottery. Me, Neil and David, excavated the top layer until we hit the under mortar layer which took up most of the day’s work.

A proud Jamie
It’s the end of the first week of excavating and for our team this has finally signalled the end of almost endless backfill removal! Our section of trench 7 is now down to the new archaeology ready for excavation after the weekend. We may finally get to uncover some features not seen since their original deposition which is quite exciting!
All the groups have been productive on each of their sections and there was one stand out find found today of a complete copper-alloy spur! This is quite the rare find and was shown to nearly every member of the public that came to the fence to watch what was happening. 
I’m sure everyone is now looking forward to a lie in tomorrow morning and looking forward to discovering any more rare finds or features.

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