Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Conference: Hadrian's Wall Archaeology Forum 22nd November, full programme details!


The Queen’s Hall, Hexham

Saturday 22nd November 2014 9:45 am – 4:30pm


Morning Session

9.30 - 9.45 Delegates arrive.

9.45 - 9.50 Introduction and Welcome

Dr David Mason,

9.50 - 10.35 The discovery of the Roman baths at Wallsend and other results

from the WallQuest community archaeology project.

Dr Nick Hodgson, Tyne & Wear Archaeology.

10.40 – 11.25 Vindolanda: An update on the Frontiers in Transition Project

Dr Andrew Birley, Vindolanda Trust.

11.30 – 11.50 Refreshments

11.50 – 12.40 Binchester Excavations, Season 6, 2014.

Dr David Mason, Principal Archaeologist, Durham County Council

12.40 - 2.00 Lunch. (Own arrangements. Plenty of cafes nearby).

2.00 - 2.45 The Maryport Roman Settlement Project

Steve Rowland, Oxford Archaeology North.

2.45 – 3.30 Romans in Ravenglass

Kurt Hunter-Mann, York Archaeological Trust

3.30 – 3.50 Refreshments

3.50 – 4.20 Recent Excavation at Survey at Greta Bridge

Dr David Mason

Chairman’s concluding remarks and close of meeting.

Details of how to book are on the previous blog.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Conference: Hadrian’s Wall Archaeology Forum, 22nd November 2014

 "Hadrianswall2007" by Michael Hanselmann - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons 

Director Kurt will be talking about Ravenglass at the Hadrian’s Wall Archaeology Forum on 22nd November in Hexham.  Also included are lectures about: Vindolanda, Maryport, Papcastle, Wallsend and Binchester. For details of how to book follow this link.

Edit November 2015: If you are looking for information about the Hadrian's Wall Forum meeting 2015 click here
Vindolanda, Maryport, Papcastle, Ravenglass, Wallsend and Binchester - See more at:
Vindolanda, Maryport, Papcastle, Ravenglass, Wallsend and Binchester - See more at:
Vindolanda, Maryport, Papcastle, Ravenglass, Wallsend and Binchester - See more at:
Hadrian’s Wall Archaeology Forum

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Broadcast: Wonderwall - Site Director talks to BBC Radio York about Ravenglass

On 4th November, around lunchtime, Director Kurt went to talk to BBC Radio York about the Ravenglass dig. On a monthly basis, broadcaster Elly Fiorentini invites a local archaeologist in to talk about what they're digging. Usually it's about a York site, which made Ravenglass up in Cumbria  positively exotic!  So that York actually gets a look in, you'll hear Elly mention one of Kurt's more notorious previous sites, Dalton Terrace - the one with the headless Romans.

To hear the programme, follow this link, then use the slider to go to 02.39 into the three hour recording. It can be a fiddle, but if you hear Wonderwall by Oasis, you'll be very close - presumably Elly chose that song as a veiled reference to Hadrian's Wall!

The interview was actually broadcast at around 6.35pm, so the interview was edited.  However, generally, Kurt was pleased with what they chose to broadcast.

Please note: the programme will only be up for a week (in fact six days by the time this blog was posted), so you'll need to listen very soon.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Report: Focus on the Finds Hut

Whilst the diggers worked hard excavating trenches, the finds team grappled with the mass outbreak of slag this season, as well as the other various categories of finds.  The slag all needed to be dried out, weighed and bagged up.  Leo was instrumental in getting this done:

Leo weighs lots and lots of slag ...

Meanwhile, Rosalie and Janice worked on sorting out the trays (and sometimes buckets!) from the previous day.
 Janice and Rosalie sorting the slag before its laid out to dry

In between all that, they would supervise the washing of the bulk finds.
Rosalie and finds washers sheltering from the sun!
When they'd finished the initial sorting, they moved onto small finding items.  This involved giving small finded items a unique number and taking appropriate measurements. The finds would then need to be packaged and stored.

The Small Finds book

This year, due to the pottery actually drying, we even did a little bit of pottery marking!  This involves painting the pottery sherds with a line of Paraloid B-72, which is a clear acrylic resin. When it's dry, we can then mark the pottery with its context number in permanent ink. When that's dry, we then paint another layer of Paraloid B-72 over it. 

Janice marking the pottery - small, clear and neat handwriting is mandatory for marking!

When the finds are fully processed they can then be boxed up ready for removal from site. We stopped washing finds on the last Saturday, so we could concentrate on bagging up as much as possible.

On the last couple of days, whilst the trenches were being backfilled, Brian K finished up the packing of the finds and the finds hut due to the absence of Finds Officer - she is very grateful for him being able to step in and take charge at the very last moment.

The finds are now resident in York for the moment waiting for the processing to be fully completed and then they'll be dispersed to the various specialists.  The clear boxes are for small finds, and the other white tubs are normally (for Ravenglass at least) the slag.

The Ravenglass small finds - and some slag

More finds boxes awaiting their fate, along with some ... more slag!

My next blog will focus on some of the finds highlights from this year's season.

Sandra Garside-Neville, Finds Officer, Romans in Ravenglass