Monday, July 1, 2013

First day on the dig

The day started with sprinkles of rain but by the time we reached the site there were large expanses of blue sky. We stopped for a slightly early lunch due to rain and again for tea, but no time lost so far. Sean and I are in the SE quadrant of the fort, with all but five of the volunteers, pushing the trench further to the south. Some big pieces of amphora, several nails, 10-15 pieces of pot were among our finds, here's a general view of the deturfing:

After tea break we helped deturf our neighbor Claire's strip (she somehow got a piece twice as wide as the average) but spent about an hour overall beginning to trowel down into the real archaeology - the deturfed 8 inches or so is fully mixed due to decades of ploughing in the 18th/19th centuries, but below that is presumed to be less disturbed and as it was left by the last occupants of the fort.

The edge of our section had some very large stones, probably forming the floor of a 5th century building, and most likely robbed from the vicus according to Justin Blake. As we began troweling down more carefully some additional flagstones are beginning to show themselves, it will be very interesting to see how far into the building these extend. Here's a shot of the whole trench at the end of the day:

And a sample of our finds from the deturfing (amphora fragment on the left, nail and a nice piece of other pottery):

And last but not least, the beginnings of the floor appearing at the edge of our strip of the trench:

Forecast for tomorrow isn't looking too clever, but we had a great first day. 

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