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

Day 17 marks the start of our final week (where does the time go?)!

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Updates from Team A and B…
Jake… On a wet first day back excavating after a long weekend, Team B returned to trowelling back the far corner of trench 8 where we left off on Friday. Due to the wet weather it was easier to see the difference in colour of the contexts and we were able to find an orange/red clay that we were looking for on the Friday. After completing that we were tasked with removing a previously recorded feature at the end of the trench. After lunch Team B had a finds session in the pavilion where we looked at separating finds and also looked at how the finds might be interpreted. Team B ended the day cleaning some finds from the excavation.
David… Today marks beginning of the end for the excavation [noooo!] but the A team continued on with the trench. The tasks that we accomplished today were based on cleaning up the trench and creating a section drawing of the new archaeological features. It seems the A team were not affected by the weather, considering the amount of p…

Days 15 and 16 bring on the bottom [of the ditch]!!

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Lucy and Jack’s group get to the bottom of things in trench 4…
Lucy… Today the main focus in our section through the ditch was to remove the last remaining large stones from the fill, and to hopefully reach the bottom. This afternoon after many attempts we finally managed to get the last sandstone out (shown in the photos below), which nearly led to some missing toes. Overall today has been a fab day in the trench, as all our hard work over the last few weeks has paid off, with us managing to reach the bottom of the ditch. This has led to a feeling of accomplishment amongst me and my group, as for a long while it was debated if we would ever reach the bottom.


Jack…Today our group had a study leave break for the morning, so we were not on site until the afternoon. This left us feeling refreshed and ready to work in the lovely weather, and the ditch we were excavating was slightly drier because of the heat which was a bonus. The ditch started off being full of large stones or possible bui…

Day 14 brought a variety of visitors

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Holly M reports from Trench 4… Today we continued with the cleaning of the Roman road as well as uncovering the roadside gully and the cleaning of the surface in order to be able to record it at a later time. We were also visited by some school children who were shown the site and some of the artefacts by two members of our team. They asked lots of questions and showed a keen interest in the subject. We also had a visit from a dog named Fen which brightened up our day.

Jake gets a taste of recording in trench 8… Now midway through the final full week of the 2019 Grosvenor Park excavations [eek!] and recording has commenced in Trench 8. Today team bee were finishing off any ditches they started excavating from Tuesday. Once that was completed, recording of them was required. In particularly a mortar feature was recorded in the trench, this included making a section drawing as well as taking levels. Team bee had a study period in the afternoon in which work towards the final portfolio wa…

Day 13 and we’re determined to get to the bottom of that ditch…

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Robert and team C continue to dig deeper… today we tried to find the bottom of what might be an Anglo Saxon ditch. We had many interesting finds such as Roman pottery some of which may have been from an incense burner and containers, there was also plenty of animal bone. Although the soil was difficult to take out of the ground, the sun was shining and ice lollies were provided at the end of the day so on the whole it was a great experience.

Edward reports for the A-Team… today we were tasked with taking height measurements or ‘levels’, and drawing plans of areas of Trench VIII. I also took part in excavating a suspected post-hole. There were also large groups of visitors at the site today, including some from a school, all of whom seemed interested in the site’s history, and what we had found. The rain water that had collected in Trench IV was needed to make the trowelling more easy, but the nice weather made the day quite enjoyable.

Abigail and group D continued their finds sessions… …

Day 12 marks the start of an exciting new week…

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Sammy reports from Trench 4 and the continuing case of the mystery ditch…Today's activities built upon what was achieved last week, the lowering of the ditch fill to expose more of the wide Roman/early-Medieval cut. Amongst the deposit filling this cut we found a variety of material, mostly animal bone and Roman pottery, particularly Samian and Black Burnished Ware. In recent days we have found bone which is believed to belong to a juvenile pig (pictured). Note the size of the bones, in particular the jaw bone, along with the black appearance due to discolouration from the surrounding sediment.

Due to the trench now being entirely below the natural water-level we are finding conditions difficult. Jack has thus far best summarised the weight of the waterlogged 'sludge' as being "the heaviest thing in the world". Only time will tell if conditions will improve!
Jessica gets a drier spot to work on… Today was a relatively quiet day on site, this is mainly because my te…

Day 11 brings mixed weather, a chicken bone and spilled ink (oops)!

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Jack E is finding a bit of rain makes things easier in trench 8… Rain has finally graced us with its presence. After many days of harsh sunlight, excavation can now continue at a somewhat normal pace. With the soil now removable at a faster pace Team A has finally begun to enter the next context. Showing brick, bone and clay, things are looking promising in the trench. Morale is good because of the progress being made, so throughout the trench things are at an all-time high.



Kayleigh reports from trench 4… Today started off gloomy with light rain but this was followed by a sunny afternoon, so waterproofs and sunscreen were both needed! Me, Connor and Abby started to excavate in between the ditch and the Roman Road to reveal yet more of the road. Whilst Holly M, Kimberley and Jess worked hard by cleaning a huge section of the trench revealing an orange-brown clay layer. The artefacts from today were a mix of ceramics, animal bone and pottery. Dave was proud of his chicken bone, found in…

Day 10 marks halfway through the dig and we're still having fun…

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Kimberley has some dabbling visitors… Today we started with bailing out the ditch we had been excavating which had accumulated some groundwater overnight, luckily this didn't take long and we were able to move on quickly. After this we continued to use mattocks and shovels to get deeper into the ditch. During our break we were visited by some ducks which is always a cute addition to the day.


Lucy had a cracking day… Once I’d finally managed to get the hang of getting in and out of the trench without falling back in, today’s task had me and Holly focusing on the area alongside the possible Anglo-Saxon ditch. We were trying to find the cut of the larger ditch and dig down to the same level, all while trying to keep the water that kept seeping into the ditch at bay. One of the highlights of the day was when Holly uncovered a pig jaw bone with teeth still attached!! With cracking weather, never ending jokes and a few ice creams, today’s been a brilliant day on site.


David appreciates ne…

Day 9 brings well-deserved ice lollies!

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Holly M and Jack D report from trench 4... Holly M: Today we have carried on excavating the ditch and have been looking for the gulley for the Roman road as well as looking for the cut of the ditch. We also spent the morning interacting with various spectators, all with an interest in what we were looking for and whether we had found any ‘treasure’ 😂. It had been a long day in the sun and it was a nice end to the day when we were surprised with ice lollies to help us cool off after a hard day’s work.

Jack D: Today the weather was boiling even before we arrived on site, and we had to put sun-cream on before anything started to prevent sunburn. Our group began the day bailing out one of the pits alongside the ditch we have been excavating as it had once again filled with groundwater, which wasn't too bad as there was less than previous days. Once the water was all but bucketed out, we began to take down the baulk section between the sections through the ditch and discern the differin…

Day 8 and things are really hotting up on site…

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Abigail’s group make a nice find in trench 4… Today we continued to dig down into the next context alongside the Roman road. Upon doing so we discovered a range of Roman pottery, building materials and animal bone. The discovery of a copper alloy Roman coin by Kayleigh was also a highlight.

Alfie’s group find a big cat… Today Group C’s main job was using tools such as the mattocks, shovels and hand trowels to slowly work down the section in the supposed Anglo-Saxon ditch whilst occasionally cleaning it to see if there were any changes in the soil’s context. The main kinds of contexts we worked through today were mixed clay soils and a grey silty deposit. In terms of finds, many sherds of pottery, including samian ware and black burnished ware, were found along with ceramic building material all dating to the Roman period. Lots of animal bones were found as well. Most of the samian ware found was in good condition suggesting that the pottery had not been disturbed since being discarded …

Day 7 A new week begins with mattock mania and sunny weather!

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Sophie’s team has mattock mania… Today Teams A and Bee were tasked with mattocking trench 8 to determine whether we had reached a new context. The mattocking was hard work but we all cooled off in the breaks in the shade after the first full sunny day in Grosvenor Park!

Alex discusses dust and discovery… The mattocks were out for the A-team on a roasting day. The dry mud caused hassle but once in the swing of it the A-team and team B continued on with their work finally getting past most of the backfill and into the new contexts. Discoveries were plentiful with large pieces of bone and pottery being found. Throughout the day the A-team engaged with the interested public answering questions and showing our finds. However, the heat was a difficult opponent causing much needed water and shade breaks, yet the A-team continued through this and completed the day. Now the A-team is in preparation for the next day of heat, dust and discovery.
Jessica reports for Team D… the day started with our…

Day 6 brings mud, mud and more mud!

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A spell of wet weather brings the week to a muddy and wet end...
Jack gets stuck in….MUD, MUD, MUD, MUD EVERYWHERE! As you can guess it was quite the muddy day. But certainly not uneventful. Focusing on finds cleaning today was originally a slow start. However, after intensive cleaning and just as intensive rain, Team A unearthed a rather interesting find. Believed to be a shoulder bone (from an animal) the piece was an exciting discovery, sparking much buzz in the trench. Team A will continue to strive to uncover more archaeology as we finally excavate the new deposits.

Sammy puts his foot in it… Activities today were varied and mostly overshadowed by intermittent downpours. Despite this and a thoroughly sodden foot some interesting artefacts were found; notably large quantities of Samian pottery. In the afternoon we took up the task of cleaning finds. A combination of warm water, toothbrushes and patience allowed for the artefacts found so far to be cleaned, allowing us to examine th…