Week 3: Round-up

This week was particularly full of environmental processing, finds sorting, and trench recording! Not as much rubble has been removed from the main trench as the blocks left are much too big to be moved by hand, but we will have an update on the steps below.

The flotation tank has been up and running almost non-stop to get through backlogged samples. Nat runs a tight ship, and that ship is the HMS Floaty McFloatface. Multiple crude ceramic beads have been found this week in sorting the floated material.

Ceramic bead.

In finds, we’ve spent a lot of time sorting the huge volume of washed material from last week. Among this, we found an unusual number of very large teeth from cattle and horse which we discussed further here. And we found a possible buzz-bone!

Worked bone that may have been a toy or musical instrument.

We also spent some time illustrating finds to scale under the guidance of Finds Supervisor Margot.

LJ drawing a small copper alloy buckle.

A “new” bit of wall that has peeked out where it is interrupted by the Victorian stairs that go down to our old Trench 5a. It has been de-greened and a small trench has been opened up between St. Oswald’s Gate and the arch that looks towards Lindisfarne. So far we’ve revealed a lovely spread of mortar on the medieval masonry and lots of modern rubbish at its base.

The main wall along which the 2002 trench used to run has been further revealed and photographed. Multiple teams have each taken a few metres of wall to draw. These are just like the section drawings we do of vertical stratigraphy (the layers of occupation, or lack thereof, we can see in the soil), but instead we’ve got the masonry blocks of a standing wall to draw to scale.

More steps in Trench 5b have been partially uncovered, but not fully excavated due to particularly stubborn (and massive) rubble. These give off medieval vibes akin to what was found elsewhere in the early survey of the outworks stairs undertaken by our director long before we opened these trenches.

Steps down toward the arch.

What more will we discover in our final week? Stay tuned!