Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Binchester 2013: Day Thirteen

Another day of good weather although the runes don't auger well for the rest of the week. In Trench 1, we saw the cleaning up of the latrine for photographs - this involved tidying up the interior and tarting up the outside edge of the walls. Worth it for some good images. It is now pretty clear that the culvert within the structure connects to the one outside. This would presumably have brought water into the building which was then used to sluice the sewage into the fort ditch. Hilly's pit continues ever downwards- Matt thinks we really have got the edge now- we shall see... We also had people planning the interior of the new section of building and at the southern end of the trench, there was some poking around on the surfaces. We've always known that the barrack shows immense variability in construction technique and that the northern compartment was the most coherent section of it, with the interior division being part of the same build as the side walls. Looking at the building today, I noticed for the first time that the solid floor surfaces we do have are confined to this section, and that the big pit we have inside the walls of the barrack are butted up to, but external to, this section. Does this mean that this northern unit was maintained in use longer than the rest of the building? In the southern end of this building, whilst tidying up the floor surface, Hannah came across a small group of copper alloy objects. One is almost certainly a crossbow brooch (broadly 4th century), there were also two objects that appear to be arrow heads or bolt heads of some form, but made out of copper alloy, which strikes me as unusual (although I am happy to stand corrected), although a quick bit of research has flagged up that a collection of copper alloy bolts of was found in the fort of Copaceni in Dacia. There was also a copper alloy ring shaped object. This is a really interesting little group of items- it will be good to get the brooch conserved so we have a better sense as to its type. In Trench 2, we finally found the floor of the corridor! The chain gang down the hole have identified a probably surface of flagstones, which is a relief. However, in the larger room, its just the same old story of lots and lots of cobbles. In the post pad building, we found yet further stones with holes for upright supports. It now looks like these stones were arranged around the entire structure, with just a gap facing the road frontage, indicative perhaps of an opening on this side. Alejandra also found a rather nice rotary quern stones. I do wonder whether it has actually been set into the floor surface of one of the phases of building.

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