Thursday, 7 July 2011

2. Monday - July 4th

Independence Day for our lone American this year, Michelle, a very hardy annual, and a day planned to widen the field of archaeological experiences and techniques.
In the heat of yet another beautiful day, the group of students worked within the potential hammer scale grids and many one-litre soil samples were carefully taken.
Don and the undergraduates took care in accurately marking up the co-ordinates of the different bags and then Don, always one for a challenge, played an extensive and interesting game of “spot the missing samples”
“Now I wonder, is this actually bag three from row four, or really bag four from row three?”
(photo by Phil Carroll)
Once the sampling was completed, the attention of the students was directed to de-turf an eastern extension to ‘DF’ – an exercise that all but squared off this side of the excavation area – hard work with tough grass and high temperatures - but even so, they made a very neat job of it.
Despite the prevailing blue sky, light breeze and clear views, the threat of an oncoming weather change hung in the air and spurred on by two pessimistic weather forecasts from local radio stations, Roger decided to prepare for the worse.
Inspired by the members of Finds Team constructing the dry sieve frame the previous day, they were challenged by Roger to put together the supporting structure for the ‘poly-tunnel’ – the six-metre long shelter against the elements.
Having spent a considerable time finding all the required steel sections, these were placed in the correct order alongside the lower edge of site ‘DF’.
“A strange skeletal shape, looking like the rib cage of huge starved creature, slowly came together” (photo by Phil Carroll)
Once set out, the sections were interconnected and the grand erection ceremony followed – lots of laughter and some slight trepidation as everyone chose a leg and the tall bowed arches rose above the site.
Fortunately, the weather held and most de-turfing was completed without the need for any polythene sheet protection and during this phase, the first few finds were uncovered.
Phil & Pat Carroll