Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day four on the dig

Another day with an ideal digging temperature, this time probably ranging from the low 50's early on to the upper fifties when the sun came out late in the afternoon. We had our first light rain, lasting from a couple of hours during/after lunch, but it was never heavy enough for me to get my rain gear on. As usual, I started my morning walk to the dig site at around 8:45, here are a couple of shots of the 1.5 mile walk, one taken about half a mile from the TBI, the other about half a mile from Vindolanda. A great way to start the day:

Not a very eventful day, I was left to finish off the west side of "my" rectangle, which turned out to be about 3 inches of soil with pottery, followed by about a foot of solid, thick yellow clay where the Victorian drain was. The stone "feature" still seems to have some kind of form to it, (including a large, bizarrely-shaped slab of mud-stone), but its still not clear exactly what it is, although clearly not the wall of a building. Kevin and Beth put in some hard labor deturfing a section another 3 or 4 meters out from the edge of my rectangle (below), and once it was exposed Sheila transferred onto there, which should contain an extension of the ditch. You can see her early work on it in the centre of this image, with the last remaining piece of mostly clay still to go for me in the lower right corner:

I had a quiet day in terms of finds, with a Vindolanda-standard assemblage of Samian ware and various earthenware pieces, including a nice piece from the base of a bowl of some kind. An offcut small piece of lead sheet, unfortunately with no inscription, made an interesting change from pottery though. Too tired to get any find pictures! Mark had a nice piece of roof tile, Charlotte and Jane got a nice thick red broken slab of tile that might have once lined a chimney (Mark is inspecting it above).

After working through the tea break and going right up to 5 o'clock I just managed to take the original rectangle down to the uniform level we were looking for, so I should be over in the presumed ditch with everyone for the last day of the week tomorrow.

Soon after arriving back at the TBI the heavens opened for 15 minutes, so our luck with the weather has only one more day to hold out...

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