Yesterday was very windy and wet, so we didn’t excavate at the Abbey. Instead, we had a lovely day (albeit wet and windy!) teaming up with the National Trust to teach primary school students from Bunessan and Iona how to be good archaeologists! We set up at the library, where there were stations on reassembling broken pots, interpreting the material culture around Bob the Skeleton, and finding artefacts in the sand pit. We then took the kids outside where they tried their hands at plane-table survey, then excavated some test-pits in line with the Thistle Camp’s trench before heading over to the Abbey to check out the excavation there. Everyone was enthusiastic despite the wind and rain, and we found a fair amount of porcelain and charcoal to boot!
Today started with a sun shower (complete with rainbow!) followed by high winds and then a brief horizontal hailstorm – all before 9am. Luckily the weather cleared by 9:15 and remained sunny the rest of the day. We spent the day drawing a plan of what we had dug so far, taking levels (measurements of the three-dimensional coordinates of certain locations or areas of the trench), and slowly beginning to dig through context fairly modern overburden to see what we can find in the newly expanded trench. So far, we have found a fair amount of porcelain, medieval pottery, some nails, and disarticulated animal bones. This layer is also full of limpet and periwinkle shells, which were most likely used in the production of mortar.
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!