Day 1: Opening the Trench
LAG members volunteered to work with the BG site manager set up the
dig site in preparation for the Bishop Grosseteste student research
dig at The Lawn. They did not anticipate a record temperature for June
of 31 degrees. The gazebo was erected ready for the finds processing
and thanks to a digger, the top soil was taken off. It looks promising.
There is evidence that it may have been used in Roman and Medieval times. The site is close to the West Gate of the Roman Town. There may have been a road from Westgate and possible workshops
alongside it. Stones in the trench appear to be a wall.
Previous excavations in the 1980s recovered first and second century Roman pottery and artifacts so we're very excited to uncover more.
Day 3: First Finds
Plenty of volunteers for finds washing today as it was a relief to be under the gazebo out of the sun with hands in cold water. A motley set of finds including fish vertebrae, whelk shells, chicken bones, animal bones, shell tempered pottery, a roof tile with a paw print, nails, coal, glass, green glazed ceramic wear and clay pipe.
The diggers braving the heat were attempting to establish whether they were working in part of the excavation of the 1980s or another feature.
The pile of bones for washing caused the comment “Why do we need to wash boring bones so thoroughly”. Well, when bones are put in the finds trays they have soil in all the cracks and crannies. When dried slightly, some of the soil falls off and they are then cleaned with a wet toothbrush. Soil is removed from the holes with a cocktail stick or similar. The wood being softer than the bone it doesn’t cause damage. If the soil remained in the holes when the bones were bagged ready for further analysis the soil would eventually fall out and coat all the bones in the bag making a second wash necessary. It is important for the bones to be clean to enable the finds specialists to identify the type of bone, to spot such things as cuts made at the butchery stage, or bone shaped to form a tool or accessory such as a comb.
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