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.
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Friday, 12 May 2017

Day 6: Everyone knows archaeologists dig, but did you know we also clean? Matt, Peter, Abbi and Amelia report on another cracking day on site and the latest finds from the Roman period to the Civil War…

Day six of the dig has been very much about cleaning; cleaning finds and cleaning trenches. Group B spent the morning sat at washing bowls full of water with toothbrushes in our hands, carefully scrubbing centuries of mud from artefacts recovered during the first week. Making sure to leave fragile late medieval glass and a corroded iron horseshoe to one side, we worked our way through sacks of finds, taking care to keep track of labels telling us which trench and layer items have come from. Decorative patterns appeared from under mud on tobacco pipes, and pottery glazes from custard yellows to acid greens brightened the finds trays. 
Carefully cleaning our finds...
The afternoon saw Neil and I back working on the narrow 19th century land drain trench that we’d spent the previous day excavating, this time cleaning out the last of the soil with a brush and narrow shovel for a dustpan. Then it was time to start cleaning the whole area we’ve been excavating, ready for it to be photographed and a plan drawing made of our progress. But there was still time for a last-minute cluster of intriguing finds; a bone-handled knife, an iron spike, more musket balls and a pig’s tooth; all surrounded by animal bone deposits and less than a yard from the spur found last week.
Cleaning back the trench
More cleaning.. but looking great and ready for photographing and drawing!

As sensible cautious archaeologists, we will have to wait and see the bigger picture before we know how these items got here. But in the meantime, my money’s on a life-and-death struggle between a Parliamentarian cavalryman and a hitherto unrecorded Royalist pig of war, armed to the teeth with muskets and knives. Our trench supervisor remains unconvinced however…

Today was brilliant and for our team meant continuing the dig into an undisturbed patch we now are almost certain is Roman. The finds from today were overwhelming compared to previous days, finding numerous sherds of Roman pottery, including Samian ware, Black Burnished ware and Mortaria. We also found numerous pieces of animal bone, including a metatarsal and some teeth. Can’t wait to continue excavating tomorrow!
Finds from Peter's team
What more could an archaeologist ask for, but more sun, sun, sun? We were delivered this beautiful weather today on day 6 of the exciting archaeological dig in Grosvenor Park.
Team A have been working on a recently discovered feature, possibly a boundary ditch or drainage ditch that faces North-East and extends right the way under the medieval building, which is suspected to be St. Anne’s Chapel. This morning’s archaeological finds have been interesting, a piece of Roman Tegulae (roof tile) has been found in the fill of the ditch that we have been excavating along with sherds of Samian pottery. The finds from this fill show promise as to what is to come, however they were difficult to attain due to the soil being hard and clay like, with many flecks of black charcoal and bright orange sandstone.  Overall a cracking good morning for team A and an even better afternoon as team-mate Amelia reports on the rest of the exciting day.

A piece of Roman roof tile (tegulae) from the fill of the ditch

Following on from Abbi, the afternoon was as sunny and hot as the morning. For Team A the afternoon involved scraping the bottom of the pit to reach the natural layer of yellow clay. By uncovering the clay it showed a round cut that could either be a post hole or evidence of a cistern. While uncovering this there were multiple finds. To Sophie’s joy we managed to find two pieces of Samian ware, both with decoration, we also found some animal teeth and bone, altogether a good day for finds for Team A finding more and more as we kept digging. During the afternoon it was Team A’s turn at public archaeology. There was a variety of people to meet. The majority of the public were interested to learn about what had been found and what we hoped to find and what we thought things were and we got the chance to show them some of the finds, some even had their own anecdotes about digs they themselves had been part of, one lady being involved in heritage in Llandudno. However, one particular member of the public voiced his concern about the way the dig could negatively affect the park. Fingers crossed for another good day tomorrow and we hope for more sunshine.
Part of a circular cut feature visible in plan

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