Today marked the first full day on site! As with most trenches in archaeology, ours was still covered in grass and vegetation, so step number one was to deturf the trench. We’re starting out with a 6×6 metre trench, with the possibility of expansion later on. This morning was rather misty, so the grass was wet and the pieces of turf somewhat heavier than they might be otherwise. It took an hour and a half to expose the entire trench, and we ended up with a turf structure that we decided resembled a little mini Antonine Wall.

After de-turfing, we needed to define the boundaries of the trench from 2017. We exposed one corner yesterday, when a small team laid out the location of the current trench, but the rest remained underground. After some serious digging, we ended the day having defined most of the boundaries of the original trench, with just two to still be joined up tomorrow.

The Iona Research Group is excavating on Iona for the next few weeks. If you’re in the area, feel free to stop by and say hello!

The result of Day 1: Turf removed and most of the 2017 trench outlined.


4 thoughts on “Day 1: De-turfing

  1. Thank you for these posts. I live in Canada but will be attempting my first archeological adventure this September on Lindisfarne wit Dig Ventures. We will be in Iona for 4 days right before. Reading about your excavation reallybrings it all alive.
    My partner and I hope we can at least visit your site when we are there.
    Keep those great reports coming!!

  2. It’s brilliant to see the photos, but any chance of a map of the site, showing exactly where your trenches are?

    1. Hi Andrea, unfortunately we’re unable to publish a map at this time, but we’re just south of the nave, on the abbey grounds.

      1. Thanks for letting me know. I’m writing a novel partly set on Iona in the 6th century, with Colum playing a major role, so I’m following your dig with great interest.

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