Waiting for the Sun

Waiting for the Sun

Year two of our excavations finished with rainy weather typifying the backfilling, as opposed to the scorching weather that we had so enjoyed during the excavations, I think the volunteers must bring good weather with them, so let’s conjure some for next year.

We wrapped up our trenches 8, 9 and 10 this year, so we will be in another location next time. I have a hankering for the staff block and cellar, but we shall see… A great effort put in by all volunteers, especially those who came back day after day.

Volunteers hard at work
Volunteers hard at work

Thanks to Trevor for showing the judges our trenches, and thanks to Nick, gardens manager, for being so kind about our slightly uneven trenches. Thanks also to all those who dug deep. I know you’re mostly fit and healthy, but…that was deep (see below).

We are now processing our finds. You may have found some nails, pottery or special finds like thin glass, and flint tools. All these will all be assessed for their significance by our specialist Lucy, who some of you may have met on site.

Trench 8: the Big Dig!
Trench 8: the Big Dig!

We had a lovely open day. Not as busy as last year, and everyone who dug on that last weekend enjoyed talking to the public. Perhaps we can get the mayor digging next year! We kept up so well with the recording of features encountered that we didn’t have too many loose ends to tie up on the last day.

Trench 9: the medieval footings
Trench 9: the medieval footings

 

Trench 9: inside the drain
Trench 9: inside the drain

Thanks to everyone who worked on this amazing site and especially to all our volunteers, we certainly couldn’t have done without you. And to Jess for the following kind words:

Before the opening of the excavations, I had been working for the final week or so as a volunteer on the dig.   I contacted Catherine Edwards in hope of getting some work experience as I want to study archaeology at university and was only expecting the dates of when the site would be open.  Instead, she offered the help of a mentor and workshop days that would really help with my understanding of the different aspects of archaeology.

 On the first day, I was quite nervous and very underprepared, but still excited to actually do some hands-on work.  After being taught how to use a trowel correctly by Les, I was given a patch on the site to work on and got stuck in.  Having uncovered the neck of a glass bottle and various pieces of pottery, I was eager to see what I would find during the days ahead. 

As the week progressed, I learnt new skills such as drawing the site to scale and using fancy technology to determine whether anything dig-able was underneath.  The qualified people working on the site helped me a lot with learning more about the field and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.  The volunteers were all interested and passionate as well, which made the experience so much better.  I gained so much more than I thought I would and loved learning about the history of the site, as well as helping it come to life.

Many thanks Jess and we hope you and everyone else will come back next year.