Monday, 9 August 2010

Day 6 - 8th August 2010


Trench 5

Hello, I’m Dimitra Mexis  - an archaeology student from the University of Glasgow. Today is the second day of my feature (the big rock!) being excavated and not just being cleaned.  We’re beginning to see the bottom of it at one corner.  The size of the rock was deceptive - as it now appears to be a lot bigger than it looked pre-excavation. 
Almost everyone’s features are becoming deeper and deeper by the day (including those over in 5B).  Kirsty has been shunned by the group for attracting wasps with her perfume!
These three points have been the highlight of day 7 at Trench 5A.

My big rock!!

Directors’ Update
Trench 5A is coming along nicely.  The double enclosure is showing up really well as are the other features in and around it.  We have started sections across the outer enclosure ditch, half-sectioning the pit with our big stone (fingers crossed for carved stone!!) and started sectioning two large pits or post-holes, too.  The team is working really hard (even when having a major gossip session), no one has been stung (yet) and Heather and I are looking forward next week to really getting into the features and finding out what is on the underside of that buried standing stone. – Meggen Gondek (University of Chester) – Co-director, Trench 5A

Trench 6 - The ‘henge’

Dr Gordon Noble standing in the large central pit explaining discoveries at Trench 6 to members of the other teams

Excavation and discovery continued at an encouraging pace today. Work on the ‘henge’ ditch progressed and clues are emerging regarding whether this site is a prehistoric ceremonial henge (or hengiform) monument or a funerary barrow – or both, with the former transformed into the latter at some point, perhaps in the Early Bronze Age. All Over Corded (AOC) Beaker pottery continued to be found in the northerly (N-S aligned) rectangular feature and hopes are high that it may perhaps be an early (earth-cut) Beaker grave. Moreover, a sherd of AOC Beaker was also discovered in the westerly rectangular feature (also N-S aligned and similarly sized). If so these would be exceptionally rare finds – but only time will tell. Excavation of the large (and deep!) central pit was also further extended and we are coming ever closer to discovering what (if anything) is at its centre. Some of the team are hoping for an impressive Medieval kingly burial! Others are less certain. It appears similar in size, profile and fill to the pit excavated in the centre of the henge monument excavated in 2009. The day and week was rounded off by Dr Brophy and Dr Noble giving all trench teams a guided tour of the trench discoveries of the last six exciting days. Today we also said farewell to volunteer Jim – his sieve-fixing, hard digging and hard-boiled sweets will be missed!


Trench 7

Robert here today from Aberdeen University. First impressions of the trench this morning were good. Many of the features were showing up clearly, with evidence for new features that hadn’t really been visible before. We began the day by towelling back the final area of the trench, cleaning it up ready for it to be planned. After the area had been cleared the tape measures where brought out and set up so that the area could be planned. As the day went on everyone set about their own individual tasks. This included continuing with the planning of the trench and its features, carrying on with the excavation of features (such as post holes and the ditch cut). We even got onto starting excavation on some new post hole features and a possible tree throw. But its early days working on these and no finds as of yet. The post holes already under excavation continued to yield more charcoal.

Trench 8

Natalia here from Glasgow Uni, or at the minute the tropics of trench 8. Today in the glorious sunshine at trench 8 we continued excavation of the ditches leaving various baulks and fully excavating the corners. I dug the entirety of the North West corner of the western barrow (the big one!) so that we can see the cut in plan and notice any anomalies. Thanks to differential drying we noticed a band of dark silt running along the outer edge of the ditch cut leading me to wonder if it were possibly a palisade... too far fetched? The afternoon was much less fun for me as it entailed looking over all the context sheets and various other boring paperwork. Paddy however had a fantastic last day in the interior grave of the Eastern barrow where he found tooth enamel- much more exciting than it sounds due to the poor survival conditions in this soil!! Euan says that it looks like a young individual who was buried here. Hopefully Fi will find some in the interior grave of the western square barrow!!!

Paddy excavating the tooth enamel from the grave in the eastern barrow.

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