Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Day Seventeen: it just keeps on getting more complex

With most of the heaby shifting of soil in Trench One completed, we've started the more careful excavation and recording of the various walls and surfaces. As well as photographing everything we have been producing stone-by-stone plans of what the features look like from a bird's eye perspective. This will soon be followed by the drawing of the wall elevations so we have a complete and permanent record of everything.

Alex in a planning frenzy

One new development today was that we decided to extend the trench just 1.5m towards the trees so that we could see more of the wall running along the western section of the trench.

Kourosh mucking in, but not realising that the shovel is supposed to have soil on it

This gave us a much better view of this wall but, as is so often the case in archaeology, made the picture all the more complex! The original wall did continue as expected, but then was joined to what seemed to be an earlier and even thicker wall running off to the north west. Hopefully this will all make some sense soon!
Ian stood at the join between the two new walls and wondering where it's all heading

It's really best not ask what Gareth's up to.

The artefacts continue to help us identify what's going on. We're still finding lots of 16th-century pottery and window glass, as well as more mundane items such as nails and animal bone. One interesting piece of information that came back 'hot from the lab' was that a rather corroded portion of green metal we found some days ago is probably a portion of tin-bronze mortar that might have been imported from Rammelsberg in Germany.

I think it's a pot Rachel...

As well as digging we've also been extending our survey work around the site. So far the main form of geophysical survey we've undertaken is resistivity survey, which is particularly good at identifying buried walls and solid structures. However, today Pete undertook some 'magnetometry' which looks at variations in the earth's magnetic field caused by the presence of structures such as hearths and other burnt features. Hopefully this will lead to some interesting results!

Not actually another one of Pete's fashion disasters, the comfy 'leisure trousers' and gumboots are worn to make him non magnetic to the fluxgate gradiometer, as well as everyone else

Whilst archaeologists, such as Pete, aren't normally renown for their smart dress it doesn't mean everyone on site is always a scruff-bag. Sometimes our visitors help lend a little colour, even if at times creates a slightly surreal feeling to the place.

We had no idea what was going on either...

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