Pottery, puddles and paving

The weather made site pretty unpleasant again today, but our trusty trowellers pushed on until the site became unworkable. Good progress was made in both the Jelly Baby house and the building to the north west of it.

Local volunteer Rhona has been cuttling the venerable Dr Heald since the weekend, wanting to lift the large slabs beneath the middening deposit. Context 2011 has been rechristened two thousand and heaven thanks to the melon bead fragment and large amounts of burnt bone, shells and stone tools discovered during excavation. Rhona finally got her way and began lifting the underlying slabs after lunch. She discovered… more slabs. And some evidence of burning. We were secretly hoping for a chariot burial , but never mind. Investigation of this feature will continue tomorrow.

Volunteer Meg and AOC’s Charlotte worked on half sectioning a clay deposit to the west of the middening deposit, and revealed a paved surface. Work will continue here tomorrow.

Anne carried on excavating one of the central hearth features in the Jelly Baby house. It shows at least two phases of use. She also discovered a large pot sherd that is unlike any of those that we have found previously. Colin and Eric lifted the massive slabs in the south of the building, and discovered animal bone beneath them. These levels have not been previously excavated by Tress Barry, so the bone may be used for dating.
When work was called off mid-afternoon due to the persistent rain, some of the volunteers went to Castletown to learn about wet sieving ; context 2011 contains cereal grains including barley.

Volunteers Anne and Rhona learn how to process soil samples with AOC's Charlotte

Photographer Mark Johnston visited the site today. He has photographed many archaeological sites before, including Clava Cairns; we look forward to seeing the results anon. Examples of his work can be found at www.markjohnston.co.uk.

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