Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Report: 1st-7th September – getting started (again)

A long week, but well worth it! The staff spent two days setting things up. The site accommodation now includes separate cabins for the finds staff and the diggers, and a walkway to maintain the ground surface in wet conditions.

By the fourth day the trenches had been completely cleaned by the volunteers, after John Wilson's trusty machine had removed the topsoil. A fantastic effort! All three of last year's trenches were re-opened (yes, there is that much archaeology still to investigate there). 
Cleaning up the trench and removing Terram laid last year to protect the archaeology

In Trench 1, the northern limit of the Roman road was revealed. Some 10m of the road's width was observed in the trench and it probably measured about 15m wide overall, taking the geophysical evidence into account. Excavation of a modern pit, cut into the Roman road, indicates that the road was laid on a thick bed of metal-working debris.
Cleaning Trench 1

In Trench 2, a layer of rubble in the centre of the trench was removed, revealing a cobble surface. The row of stone blocks found last year does appear to be a wall, although so far there is no sign of a corresponding parallel wall. The extensive layer of burnt deposits to the south seems to be the result of prolonged industrial activity, probably mostly metal-working.
Trowelling Trench 2

In Trench 3, more of the large stone structure, probably the foundations for a timber-framed building, was revealed. A sondage at the north, low-lying end of the trench unexpectedly encountered a series of features, so even here there was a lot of activity.
Trench 3

This coming week, we hope to make more exciting finds in all three trenches, and there will be a new face providing the fieldwalking activity, Laura from ArcHeritage.
 The first 4.15pm site tour, Rowan's Trench 3

Kurt Hunter-Mann, York Archaeological Trust
Romans in Ravenglass Site Director

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