Week 4 Round-up

This week included a lot of recording and sorting, some massive earth-moving, and preparing to leave site!

We digitised a bunch of plans and context sheets, and we also continued monitoring the finds in the archive annex and updating the database with location information.

We were so grateful to have friends of the project get those incredible drone photos for us on Tuesday. You can see some sneak peeks here.

A very excited trench team looking at the drone photographs.

Some interesting finds came out in all the processing, such as the yellow glass bead and bone pin below. The bead came from an environmental sample taken in 2013 of 9th/10th-century context; multiple 2013 samples run this season also produced several other beads, but all but one of those were ceramic (the other a crinoid fossil, “Saint Cuthbert’s bead”). The bone pin is from a context tray from Trench 5c that we looked at today before organising storage. It was from an area of the long stretch of medieval wall where we had previously only been finding modern material, until we extended the trench (see below).

In the trenches, we moved so much earth!

First, we extended the old 2002 trench along the longest stretch of standing wall which we are calling Trench 5c. The extension was to learn more about the rubble that is scattered perpendicular to the face. Some of the stone positions suggest that another wall came out of the length we still have.

Then, we fully exposed a large stone surface abutting the dolerite up at the postern gate trench we called Trench 5d. It’s not clear exactly what was happening, and we thought bringing down the inner face would answer our questions. It only gave us more questions! Two large stones with tool marks appear to have fallen down into the northern end of the trench. On the southern side of the trench, a large spread of mortar appeared.

Thursday was the big day of rubble-removal with the help of Stuart and Steve from the Castle team. We would bet at least a [literal] tonne of rock was removed. On Friday, the well-room was cleared of the big stones, so we mattocked and shoveled as much soil as we could. We also cleaned off the steps! Finally, we photographed the steps and well-room even though both are not yet completely excavated.

It’s our last day on-site this season, so we wanted to let you know about what to expect in the off-season:

At least two blog posts will be headed your way in the next few weeks. First, Alice will be providing an update on the environmental assemblage and what it tells us about cereals at Bamburgh during the early medieval period. Then Graeme will do his usual end-of-season post with a round-up and tentative interpretations, plus some thoughts on our next steps.

Please also keep an eye out for news regarding our publication of the Bowl Hole research!

As always, follow us on social media for the latest information on our research and upcoming field school opportunities. That’s all for now, but you will definitely see us next year, back in the outworks!

Launch of our 2018 Archaeology Field School

 

Booking details are now available for our 2018 field school season, which runs from June 17th – July 20th.  The field school will operate out of Bamburgh Castle and we are offering two programmes:

Excavation and Post-Excavation or Post-Excavation only

You can book anywhere from one to five weeks. However, we recommend booking two weeks minimum for a well rounded experience. Our dates are listed below:

  • Week 1: June 17th- June 23rd
  • Week 2: June 24th- June 30th
  • Week 3: July 1st- July 7th
  • Week 4: July 8th- July 14th
  • Week 5: July 15th- July 20th

Student spaces are limited, so we encourage you to book your place as soon as possible.

Tuition is £275 per week, which will cover all on-site excavation and post-excavation activities. You can learn more about what this covers by visiting our website.

Accommodation must be booked separately. There are many options for accommodation in the area to suit every budget and we are happy to offer suggestions. However, we do encourage all participants to stay in close proximity to BRP staff, as this allows staff and students the opportunity to get to know one another in a social setting and there are friendly faces around should you need a helping hand. This year our staff will be staying at Budle Bay Campsite

Note: There have been several changes to the field school such as our training schedule and when you are expected to arrive. Even if you have booked in years past we encourage you to read-through the updated website pages.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Field School 2013

Don’t forget there are still spaces available for the field school with us in Bamburgh this summer.

Survey techniques

Survey techniques

We will teach you excavation methods, site recording, artefact processing and much more.

Nat and Liam in the flot tank

Nat and Liam in the flot tank

Camping accommodation is provided along with your tuition, which is great value at £235. We stay in nearby Belford, where there are all the mod-cons (Like a Co-Op, Pubs, Takeaways and stores!) and we have a great social life onsite too.

For more information, go to http://www.bamburghresearchproject.co.uk/
or join us on Facebook or twitter (@brparchaeology)