Kaims Supervisor, Graham Dixon, reports on the first two weeks of excavation at the Bradford Kaims, the sister site to the main excavations ongoing at Bamburgh Castle.
Work has restarted at the Kaims this season, as we hope to explore more of the site and its relationship within the immediate surroundings. Last year saw the uncovering of an interesting ‘paved’ area which, as mentioned, has been Archaeomagnetic dated to 4000-4500 BC. This seasons excavation aims are to extend Trench 6 on all sides and to sink Test Pits in order to search for the river edge along the site. With this in mind the first batches of workers trudged across the fields bearing mattocks and packed lunches.
The first week as always involved a great deal of house keeping on the site, as a year spent in fallow was not conducive to an immediate return to work. The features in Trench 6 were uncovered from their tarpaulin-induced hibernation, while elsewhere on the site various amenity tents were pitched.
Two rows of new test pits have been created down from the ridge of the assumed lake/river bank. Six in total have been opened by the students, two of which (T10+11) uncovered terracotta field drains of modern origin. These pits were extended to avoid the farmer’s drainage system, while maintaining the original investigation area of 1.5m². Drawing and recording of these has also started, and will continue throughout the weeks ahead.
Week 2 started with the extension of Trench 6 down towards the ancient river bank and beyond. The end of this long trench extension contained a line of stones which will be further uncovered in the next few days. Our friendly neighbourhood farmer, Mr James Brown, made a visit with his front loading digger, an awesome piece of kit for moving the spoil heaps around Trench 6. This saved us a days worth of digging and opened up the opportunity to clear topsoil from a large area around the stone surface in Trench 6 ready for further digging next week.
No bog bodies found as yet but we will keep searching.