Spending more and more time holed up in the windmill, databasing and doing other environmental odd’s and ends, I’ve come to appreciate the re-introduction to the trenches and interesting finds that Friday Trench Tours provide. In order to stay apprised of the going-on’s (and to appease my archaeological cravings), I’ve taken to accosting my fellow supervisors for updates and explanations of new features, intriguing finds, and general archaeological musings, on a semi-regular basis. Since most of you readers don’t have that option, I thought you might appreciate a taste of what Friday (and the preceeding week) offers our volunteers and staff. On that note, I present our first ever “This Week in Photos”:
ENVIRONMENTAL (an oft-neglected aspect of BRP archaeology, and never a part of trench tours)
WE’VE FINISHED TRENCH 7 ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSING!!!
This is very exciting for me, since I’ve been working towards this goal since last season. Thanks to all those people who helped me with the endless flotting, sorting, and discarding of the BC08 Chapel Samples.
We’ve also been working our way through BC12 and BC11 samples in order to free up sample buckets for use in the trenches. The greedy people keep wanting to do important environmental archaeology, filling up my freshly washed sample buckets faster than I can flot them.Alex, Jess, and Trench 1 kindly filled a wheel barrel FULL of sample bags for me this week.
Flotting of BC12 T3 (400) and (401) and BC12 T1 (206) and (207) all revealed somewhat unusual samples… stones, bone, and shell galore. Looks like cobbled paths and post-hole fill are the trending contexts this week. It will be interesting to see what the sorts reveal.
Greetings from Steph and Maria, the Trench 3 Assistant Supervisors! Despite the loss of our supervisor and beloved leader this week (Jo, we miss you!), we have tried to plough ahead as usual, and have certainly been rewarded with some interesting developments.
In the South of the trench, we’ve exposed more of our strange ‘doughnut’ stone and the packing stones around it, as well as excavating and sampling a pit nearby.
The ‘doughnut’ stone may be a drain associated with the nearby metalworking structure. The relationship of the nearby pit and surrounding shell deposit with the structure is as yet unknown, but they may also be related. Shell is indeed a raw material used in some metalworking processes (e.g. cupullation)
After cleaning, photographing and planning the southern half of the trench, we turned our attention to the north which has received less attention so far this season.
Originally believed to be earlier in date, lines in section are now suggesting that this higher end may actually still be later than the south, so we started off with a big clean to expose the contexts hidden by the recent heavy rain!
Considering the few contexts visible in the Northern part of Trench 3 at the end of last season, this week has proved surprisingly fruitful! An interesting burning(?) feature apparently associated with a strange triangular spread of rocks and pebbles has already appeared…
….as has what appears to be a linear of bluish grey soil containing a pebble scatter.
Contexts were proving particularly hard to distinguish in the NW corner, so we have started digging by quadrant in this area.
This involves splitting the area into four quadrants and digging two of the four down. This will expose 4 sections which will hopefully provide greater clarity and aid us in our interpretation as we excavate this complex area down.
Over in Trench 1, the main effort has been on finding the return of the timber building and the robbed out stone building. After pulling back the tarp in the old trench to reveal where the walls were heading, we popped two sondages into the area of the trench we have been working in. One sondage was placed in the SE corner, revealing a cut cut by another cut.
The other sondage was placed in a possible pit in the NE area.
Judging by what we could see in the old part of the trench, the timber and the stone building both cut the pit. We are still in the process of excavating the pit, so we don’t yet know whether our theory holds. We’ll let you know the results soon!
Stay classy bloggers 😉 — Jessica
Finds update to follow later this week…