Monday, 30 September 2013

Comment: And it's good bye from us ...

... it's traditional to have an end-of-site pic, and here it is, including most of the usual suspects!

Although it's the end of the dig for this year, this blog will be periodically updated.  There are some photos pending, plus Kurt will be attending a few events at which he will be talking about the dig, not to mention the community presentation in Ravenglass next year.  So we'll endeavour to keep you fully informed in the lead up to the next season's excavation.

Report: 26th-28th September 2013

The last few days on site were very busy, hence the lack of blogging :D  As well as hosting another day of School Visits, we also had the BBC visit us on Friday, along with the usual film crew also getting those last few shots for their film for the Lake District. 

BBC North West interviewed people on site, as well as taking film of the finds. Unfortunately, there isn't a link to the Look North programme on the BBC website, so those who actually saw it can count themselves as lucky!

The BBC cameraman went to great lengths to get a good shot of the Samian 'Venus' sherd, which is rather tiny, but she *did* appear on the tv!

Furious packing up of washed finds took place on the Saturday, and fortunately the weather stayed fine so there was plenty of room to sort them all out!  A big thank you to Janice who undertook this mammoth task!

Maggie kindly washed the door pivot stone which finally made its way to the Finds Hut.

And here it is, nice and clean.  It's possible to see the 'fault' line on the top right, which would have ruled it out of being a quernstone.

Then it was time for the final Finds Talk and the Final Site Tour of the season and there was a very good turnout out, including the Muncaster Estate owners Peter and Iona Frost Pennington:

Director Kurt's thoughts on the dig so far will be included in a future blog!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Report: 24th September - School visits

Good weather heralded the arrival of groups of children visiting from various local schools.  This meant that the site was very busy!

The children were trying out pot washing ...

... using the portable sand pit to excavate ,,,

... and taking the Spoilheap Challenge!

The film company were also on-site making a video of the excavations ...

Meanwhile, the site was still having visitors drop by for a talk and a tour ...

... and fifty-six finds trays were out in the fresh air drying ...

... whilst small finds were being bagged, and the bags were pierced by the Holey Nail of the Finds Hut so that the finds didn't sweat ...


Digger's view: Trevor Batchelor - Site work

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Report: 21st September - Open Day!

Around 150 people came to see the dig and our findings.  As per last weekend, there was the Lake District tent with its finds from previous excavations, as well as some of the highlights of our new finds.  Also available was the sand pit, where children had fun seeing what they could excavate.  We had good weather - not sunny, but no rain!  Current forecasts suggest that the last digging week may not be dogged by further rain!  Which is good news, as we are looking forward to welcoming school parties on site on Tuesday and Thursday.

Finds: More Samian!

Trench 2 has yielded another piece of Decorated Samian. This time, the piece is a little bit battered and it's not so obvious what the design is.  The Finds Officer thinks it might be a hunting scene, which is a frequent theme, but we're open to suggestions!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Comment: Dig mascot named!

Our Roman Centurion rubber duck has been enjoying himself greatly - floating along the water from spring that appeared in the site compound, and generally entertaining the diggers.  But he remained un-named.  Fortunately one of the diggers came up with a moniker: Dux!

Dux is the Latin equivalent to modern word Duke. The title Dux was used in the later Roman period for someone who commanded provincial troops.

Report: 19th September

The rain it did rainith once more, but managed to stop around lunchtime so digging recommenced with vigour.
Trench 1 now has great evidence for a wall foundation, as shown in the above picture with the massive stone blocks.  The date of the feature is currently unknown.  It's surrounded by a layer of smaller stones which may be demolition debris.

In Trench 2 there appears to be evidence of a collapsed wall, which may have been part of a building, or perhaps a boundary.  There is a long sequence of activity which became apparent when digging a sump in an attempt to drain the trench of water (!)  There are traces of possible burnt timbers.  Also discovered in the sump was a water course which may have been there before the Roman settlement.

In Trench 3 there is evidence of a sequence of occupation involving more than one building. Floor deposits are currently being dug, and samples for environmental evidence are being taken. This is also the trench that yielded one of the best pieces of Roman Samian ware so far. This sherd is rather less soluable than previous pieces (though still fragile) and current thinking is that it shows Venus. She is surely a candidate for being printed on next year's dig t-shirt!:

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Report: 17th & 18th September

Digging continues, despite the deluge!  Trench features are being planned and levelled, when the weather allows. Digging is difficult as it's so muddy in the trenches that any features can't be cleaned properly.  Below, some diggers return to the compound for a well-earned break:

Some people even revel in the damp and wear shorts (he's a brave chap, but it's easier than getting wet trousers!):

Supervisor Bryan has taken delivery of a brand new hi-vis jacket - he's thrilled (it's made of Goretex, y'know), and is defending it from all-comers, but not from the dirt ...

But when it comes to Rowan, he's a push-over and lets her have some of his breakfast pie!:

Fieldwalking Supervisor Tudur (right, below) has arrived, and has been getting the lie of the land prior to doing a bit of work on the beach today. This involved waiting for the tide to go out and talking strategy with Director Kurt (left):

Tudur'll be on the project for another few days, so the diggers will have the chance to search the surrounding area for features and finds. Local digger Brian was happy to take him on a tour of the area: