Friday, 21 August 2009

DAY 19: 21/08/09

Another eventful day at the henge…

We were pleased to welcome two groups of children and their teachers from Forgandenny and Forteviot primary schools, who all seemed to enjoy their tour of the site…perhaps some budding archaeologists in the making?

Bones..bones..bones were the order of the day with the now termed cremation cemetery area of the trench producing more burnt bone than you could shake a trowel at. The intrepid ditch diggers finally made it to the bottom of their ‘beautiful’ section in the henge ditch, despite the weather threatening to turn nasty at points (which did give Jamie a chance to show of his rather fetching plastic poncho ensemble!). The weather cleared up towards the end of a very successful day, let’s hope it lasts for the last dash tomorrow…


And an update from the cemetery...

With two days to go it was all action in the cemetery trench. We’ve made good progress and I think we should be finished without too much panic by Sunday!

There’s lots of action happening in the round barrow area. The central grave was excavated completely by Anne-Marie today. Although we didn’t have any remaining traces of the body, we can tell by the size of the grave cut that this was for an adult, probably not much taller than 5’5’’. Alex’s grave became more complicated today as it is cut by one of our line of stony post-holes. We’ve got to excavate that out first before we can complete the excavation of the grave. Our other stony post holes were tackled by Eilidh, Robert & Lauren and are all either under excavation or we’ve finished half-sectioning them. Some of them are really clear and you can see where the post would have been from all the stone packing materials. Others look like the post must have been pulled out and the packing and other stones were dumped inside them. We aren’t exactly sure what this line of 6 postholes is. It might be one side of a building or structure. I am pretty sure that they are cutting the round barrow and so must be later, especially as they cut Alex’s grave, which is likely to be from the same time. We did quite a bit of drawing today to move on with recording and Haileigh drew most of them!

The big excitement is Clark’s grave. Clark would be writing this blog today, but he fell ill in the afternoon so we’ve given him some time off. Must be all that hanging off a plank with his head in a grave! Yesterday we realised we had degraded wood remains representing the coffin. It is very unusual to have any organic remains so we are really lucky! Today, we also found a few fragments of tooth enamel in this grave, which is probably all that remains of the person that was buried here. It is very fragile.

Over in the enclosure area, we’ve finished half-sectioning a large but shallow pit and Ewan and Gordon also uncovered a new feature, which Rachael will finish excavating tomorrow. The new feature has lots of charcoal including some twig sized pieces. We also have some burnt bone coming from here. Two ditch sections have been valiantly dug by Natalia over the past two days, which means we’ve finished our explorations of this feature.

Tomorrow we finish up the final pieces, continue to excavate our graves and do lots of recording.


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