Good-bye mortar floor surface, hello SE section sides!

Stephanie, Trench 3 Supervisor, here with an update:

At the beginning of this week, we fully excavated the mortar floor surface in the NW corner of Trench 3. Removing the mortar surface proved to be no easy task for the mortar was quite firm and cemented together. Nevertheless, our students trowelled and chiseled through! We also sampled and excavated a small post-hole or burning deposit, located just northeast of the mortar and in line with the mortar floor’s eastern beam slot.  The NW corner has since been photographed and planned. Excavation of the layer under and surrounding the mortar floor surface will continue next week.

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[Students removing the mortar floor surface.]

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[Sofiya sampling the post-hole/burning deposit.]

Meanwhile, work also begun in the SE corner of the trench to recover the section sides disturbed by the 2013 off-season pipe installation. First, the sandbags from 2009 where removed, revealing beautiful, straight section edges! The sections were then cleaned to reveal the preserved stratigraphy. The medieval midden layers, excavated in previous seasons and known for their later medieval small finds, as well as two sandy abandonment layers and layers from Dr. Sharp’s time and Lord Armstrong’s time at the castle appeared quite nicely in the stratigraphy. Once the section sides were photographed, students began section drawing—a large undertaking!

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[Recovering the SE section sides.]

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[Students section drawing in pairs!]

We hope to finish-up section drawing on Monday, and then begin excavation of the medieval layers upon which the 2009 sandbags were sat. Afterwards, we will add those layers onto our section drawings and then begin the process of tarping and stonewalling the section sides so that they are nicely preserved for our future excavation seasons.

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