This year, excavation commences on the 7th June and will run up to the 1st August inclusive. The 2011 season of archaeological work to be undertaken at Bamburgh will build on previous seasons within the two major excavation trenches, and will continue with post-excavation processing.
Excavation within Trench 1 will continue concentrate on the gradual reduction of the medieval deposits in the southern half of the trench with the long term aim of revealing more of the early medieval buildings encountered during earlier seasons in the northern part of the trench. Pottery recovery within the trench noticeably reduced during the 2010 season indicating layers of pre-12th century date have been reached. The level at which the robber trench for the stone building, known from the earlier excavation, is encountered will be significant at it is seen as indicative of the date the building was robbed. It is hoped that this issue will be resolved during 2011.
The excavation will be conducted within the present bounds of the trench and no extension of the trench is proposed.
Having successfully identified the expected later medieval features intruding in the late early medieval layers (10th to 11th century AD) currently under excavation, the 2010 season concentrated on investigating and characterising the metal producing layers at the south end of the trench. The presence of a building, that potentially contained the styca coin hoard as well as being the likely source for the metalwork concentration, was an important discovery which will be built upon by further investigation during 2011. In addition the central part of the trench, known to contain a number of pits or post-holes will be further investigated in order to better understand its form and sequence.
As with Trench 2, the excavation will be conducted within the present bounds of the trench and no extension of the trench is proposed.
Analysis of the excavation archive will continue to concentrate on the implementation of the digitisation of the site record. Quantification of the bulk finds will continue in order to allow for an assessment of their research potential. A 3D model of the metal finds within Trench 3 from the 2008, 2009, 2010 and the present season will be compiled in order to resolve its relationship with the building. In addition further soil sub-samples will be taken over the trench area in order to identify the nature of the, probably industrial, activity being undertaken.
As in 2010, you’ll be able to follow all the work we’re doing here at Bamburgh through this blog. We’ll also be keeping our Facebook page and Twitter feed up to date with useful information. We’re always keen to hear what you think about our work, and we welcome any questions you might have. We hope to have a productive season!