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

Day 4 brought evidence for horses, board games and an apostle… find out more about this intriguing combination from Ben, Steph and Max…

Ben…
Today was a bit cooler than the other days have been but we didn't let that stop us. The central part of the trench was cleared of rubble and detritus, revealing the plaster and brick beneath. As always, clay pipe fragments were everywhere but more unusual artefacts were also uncovered. Jamie found a horse shoe (perhaps related to the copper alloy spur?), and me and Pauline both found gaming counters. Matt found a spectacular purple-patterned piece of pottery. As well as these leisure items, I uncovered more martial artefacts: another musket ball, small and ceramic so likely used in canister shot, and a lead lid from an 'apostle', a gunpowder container worn on a bandolier.

A gaming counter

A ceramic musket ball


The lead cap of a powder measure (also known as an apostle since there were twelve on each bandolier).

Steph… 
Day four of the dig was another lucky day of sunshine and ice creams, the public showed a keen interest in what we were doing and many of us were on hand to show them the finds from the excavation so far. Team A spent the afternoon taking the trench section back further to reveal the white rubble layer that can be seen in the stratigraphy of the trench. We discovered plenty of interesting finds including animal teeth, bone, medieval pottery and of course more clay pipe! The shovelling of soil and wheelbarrow runs will have our backs aching tomorrow but as always another enjoyable day of excavation. Other groups started levelling the site and clearing up features such as the possible hearth and medieval wall, while others were learning about the importance of public engagement. Fingers crossed for more sun and finds tomorrow!

Team A's finds tray
Max…

Today we finished clearing the trench from 2016 of spoil and finding small finds such as nails, animal bone (pig teeth and a piece of sheep scapula) and even more 16th-18th century clay pipe. Another group extended the northern section of the trench and cleaned up the stratigraphy and we have evidence to suggest we are nearing the Roman period as indicated by hob nails and black burnished ware. We now wait for tomorrow morning to get into the real meat (or new contexts) of the excavation and see what awaits us beneath the tightly packed earth!

Max and co's finds from Day 4
The backfill all removed we now wait to see what this year's discoveries will be!

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