Monday, July 8, 2013

Robber bottom? Day six

A thick fog greeted my eyes when I opened the curtains at six, visibility down to no more than 75 yards. One of the swallows nesting in the eaves above my window, perched in its usual spot on the phone wire, didn't seem to care:

However, by around 10:30 the sun had completely burned the fog away, leaving us with the hottest digging day yet, probably close to 25C, 80F, with only a slight breeze to cool us down. Sean and I attacked the pile of robber-reject rubble with mattocks, hoping to reach the southern end of the trench by lunchtime. We didn't quite make it, but reached our goal shortly after the resumption. We both still had rubble below us, so Kate and Justin had us move back to the likely northern limit of the robber trench and push lower, hopefully into the last undisturbed level beneath the rubble. A mattock proved to be extremely handy in shifting the packed rock. Finds kept coming, Sean found a really nice fragment of a glass object, with some decoration around where a handle was once attached:

I found a more solid rubble-free level fairly quickly and by the end of the day had about 80% of my slice down to that point. It was too late in the day for any of the supervisors to check my hunch that I'm finally beneath the robber's work, hopefully they'll agree with me tomorrow.

It's now clear that the robber trench extends across about half the width of the trench; the edges haven't been clearly defined yet, but I estimate it at roughly 15 yards wide, which would make it even bigger than the robber trench found earlier this season. My amateur eye thinks I may have the eastern boundary in my slice, but Erin in the next more easterly part may prove me wrong.

Here's a sampling of the days winnings, a fairly large fragment of Samian ware (top left, thin orangey-red with a distinctive shiny glaze), a piece of sheep/pig (?) bone, a nail and Sean's piece of glass on top of a piece of tile:

Our bit of the trench looks a lot different than it did this morning:

And here's a view of Mark, Graham and Justin's work at the eastern end, uncovering what I think is indeed the intervallum road:

Even warmer weather is forecast for tomorrow, hopefully the day will see the end of the robber trench in my section.

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