Monday, 10 August 2009
Day 6: 08/08/09
At the henge, although there was a lot to do across the trench, everyone was interested in the cist and what was being excavated. Due to the fragility of the remains in the cist the conservator had decided the best method of excavating the concentration of organic material and bronze object was to carefully encase it and remove it in several large chunks. This material could then be examined in detail in a laboratory. As the rest of the cist contents were excavated (after careful planning and recording the evening before) it came as a surprise that much of the visible fragments were wood - or more accurately bark - no bone had survived. The pieces of bark (likely birch) were recorded and removed from the cist. Lining the base of the cist were rounded pebbles and cobbles - all of which appeared to have been carefully placed. Some of the cobbles were quartz. The Forteviot cist is unique in many respects - but from the shape of the stonelined 'coffin' and situation it is thought to be Bronze Age--but dating the organics should help us accurately date this feature.