Friday, 10 July 2009

Binchester Day Twenty-five

I can’t believe it’s the end of week four. We’ve had a good week and made lots of progress; lots of areas have been cleaned with surfaces and features exposed, planned and photographed. Next week should see the excavation of lots of cut features. Key developments today include further work on the floor surfaces at the north end of the main building and the discovery of tiny red glass bead of probable Roman date from the cobbles to the north of the smaller structure. More cut features are being recognised within the road surface, though as some of these appear to be filled with stones and cobbles they are proving difficult to define. Elsewhere on site we actually started removing some stones! This makes a huge change from simply revealing new ones…. Over the last two days we’d been attempting to define the edge of a large circular dump of stones that appeared to cut the line of the south-eastern portion of wall of the main building. We finally located the cut and have begun to remove some of the stones. We’ve had a working hypothesis that this was a pile of rubble remaining from robbing out the wall; we guessed they’d taken the facing stones and dumped the less useful rubble core back in the hole. However, on taking these stones out it is clear that the feature contains some good quality facing stones, so it is unlikely to be related to the harvesting of stone from the site. We’re not much further, however, in actually guessing an alternative function, though it is clearly medieval as it contained a number of fragments of medieval pots. We are also coming down onto an underlying layer containing lots of charcoal and burnt bone; is this a rubbish dump? Possibly, but why go to all this effort to put large stones over it? Hopefully next week will bring an answer.


  1. Hi David

    I heard that there was a field project coming up a while back and thought I’d try and find out what the progress was, and found your blog on the search engine. Fantastic may I add, I will follow it till the end of the project

    I visited Binchester a month or two before your dig started and was impressed with the site especially the bathhouse, I also met some of the re-enactment/historians who where at the site, they wet my appetite more thus my interest in the dig.

    I cant wait to see what you unearth in the site, like you say the bath house is a good indication of how well preserved the rest of the site my be.

    I visited Escomb Saxon church myself the other day but unfortunately it was closed but found that parts of the church had come form Binchester that must have been very interesting and I guess one of the reasons for the visit other than the bad weather.

    Wishing you and your team the best of luck

  2. Hi Cavedog. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog. We've another month on site, so lots to come.