Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day one of digging

After a great breakfast I left for the Vindolanda site at 8:30 in glorious sunshine. It took half an hour to get there, where I discovered it doesn't open until 10, scuppering my thought of getting a look around the site again before the digging started. After meeting the other diggers and the crew of archaeologists/experienced volunteers we were all assigned to different areas; rather than ending up in the fort as I expected, I went with a small team to work on looking for a drainage ditch associated with a major building outside the fort. Starting in an area of grass we began removing turf, hard physical labor that caused an older volunteer to give up at lunchtime (three other volunteers cried off the day before).
I was lucky early and found in one hunk of sod four or five different pieces of pottery that were all clearly Roman. Here's the eventual tally of everything I found: inside the pink marking are some pieces of Victorian pottery, in the yellow are three pieces of clay pipe, the remaining pieces are Roman (the large red piece above the sign is apparently Samian ware).

Here's a closeup of the two black pieces -- looking like the the rim of a bowl or jug -- that perhaps I broke during the digging, showing the markings beneath the rim:

At the end of the day I had done most of the work clearing a 10 foot by 12 foot rectangle down to about a foot below the surface:

Combined with the others in the team in their adjacent rectangles, there wasn't a clear sign of the Roman ditch, although something that might be a Victorian drain emerged...

More will undoubtedly be revealed tomorrow; all in all a fun but tiring day.

1 comment:

  1. good stuff! keep the spirits up. by now you have probably figured out that Andrew arrives on site before the "official" start time for digging, and that you can get an early start too. I miss the Twice Brewed already....try the lamb curry if its on menu, although the cute fuzzy little lambies will all look daggers at you on your next walk in! T.Wolter