Welcome to the 2019 season of the BRP!

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Almost everyone has arrived for our first week on site, trowels in tow, waterproof trousers just in case, and enthusiasm out their ears. This summer the BRP wants to really help you all feel like you are right there with us, so expect a deluge of tweets, pictures, and blog posts over the next 6 weeks. And where can you find all this juicy, archaeological content? Glad you asked:

Our Twitter account is @brparchaeology, where you will get real-time updates of our day and any breaking discoveries.

For Facebook users, we can be found at Bamburgh Research Project.

And for all of you who want a nice mix of technical and artsy pictures, head over to our Instagram @bamburghresearchproject.

If you truly don’t want to miss a single thing, I would recommend following all three social media accounts. Chances are, one of those accounts may have led you to this blog right here, so why not just lean into it, and follow us EVERYWHERE?

This blog will be the home of all our longer-form site, artefact, and team updates, and we’ve got lots in store for the summer already. In addition to covering our trench-side discoveries, we will introduce you to the team, pull out some bits and bobs from our archives, and look at some interdisciplinary topics that overlap with the work we are doing.

Our goals for this season are many:

In a general sense, as mentioned above, we want to be as accessible and transparent as possible for our friends and supporters all around the world. We want you all to join us as we scratch our heads over weird and unknown artefacts and rejoice in the thrill of discovery in real-time. We are also expanding our outreach programming in both community archaeology and paleoenvironmental sample collection and analysis thanks to an incredible grant in memory of a beloved archaeologist; the Mick Aston Archaeology Fund’s support will allow us to gather more data about the ecological history of our site. (More info in our previous blog posts here and here.)

Graeme Young, our daily on-site director, has some high hopes for Trench 3 this season. In the southwestern corner of the trench, we have some soil that spent several seasons covered by tarp as an unexcavated baulk, so we hope to join up the layers on either side, and maybe get some new information about the occupation of that part of the trench. There is an old feature long ago recorded between our two WWI test latrine pits in the center of the trench that has been slowly brought down, but there’s a few stones still in situ, including one very clearly placed upright and we’d like to know why. Lastly, we’d like to more closely understand the cobbled surface in the southeastern corner of the trench, which at this point seems to suggest a yard for craftworking some time in the 8th centuries.

Trench supervisor Constance Durgeat led the cleaning of the trench for the first part of the day, later followed by archaeological assistant Kelly Tapager and assistant supervisor Tom Howes providing an introduction to trench photography. The finds team of Tom Fox and assistant Kennedy Dold gave an introduction to photogrammetry and a tutorial in artefact technical drawing respectively. You’ll get to know more about the team as the season goes on!

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