Today got off to a slow start due to poor weather conditions. Archaeologists generally don’t excavate in heavy rain because we would likely damage the archaeology or lose track of our soil layers. In effect, we would often do more harm than good, so we avoid digging in heavy rain. Instead, we spent part of the morning making signs for community notice boards and organising various notes and records.
The weather did clear relatively quickly, so we got to site around 10 or so. We immediately set about joining the section we hadn’t gotten to yesterday and then cleared out all of the backfill from last year’s trench. We also cleaned the top soil off of the newly excavated areas of the trench and revealed the wall for the first time in a year. So far as we can tell, all of the survey nails and context labels we left in last year (assuming we would be back for further excavations) have survived and remained in-place.
Despite our late start, we managed to finish all that by 4:30, so visited the trenches being dug by the National Trust Thistle Camp and then called it a day. We calculated that in the end, our team of 6 has shifted over 30 tonnes of material by hand in the last 48 hours – according to the site director, ‘this is one advantage of having experienced (and fit!) diggers!’
We saw a LARGE number of people over the course of the day – thank you to all who visited! If you happen to be in the area, we are excavating for the next few weeks. Feel free to stop by and say hello!