Friday, 27 June 2014

Binchester 2014: Day Fourteen

Second to last day of our 1st year students time at Binchester. This morning, in Trench 2 we finally cleared out the main room of the bath-house (apart from a 1m wide baulk that we are keeping so we can draw the sections). Yet again, the surprises kept coming. With the removal of the final fill around the entrance into the small annexe, a short flight of steps was revealed. These are of worked stone, possibly reused from elsewhere. The floor is not surprisingly covered in flagstones – there is also a hint of an underlying culvert, perhaps associated with the putative plunge baths.

In the adjacent corridor area, the team have also taken the deposits down to floor level. The sections will need to be drawn. We will then aim to take out the other side of the surviving deposits. However, for safety reasons we will need to take down the deposits in the newly exposed corridor area first. In this area, we seem to have found another window opening- splayed, like the others in this wall line. We have also got the top of a lintelled feature within the wall just poking through. It is unlikely to be a window or a door, so we are slightly stumped as to its purpose. Further excavation will reveal all…

In the area in front of the bathhouse- the team have been taking out the clay surfaces in and around the small building. I wonder whether this in fact underlies the structure- have we got ourselves out of sequence a little?

In the barracks trench, the elevation drawing is carrying on apace. We are going to have some splendid looking images on completion. The series of surfaces to the west of the barracks continue to be slightly mystifying, although we may have identified some possible culverts, although these are in an area badly suffering from subsidence. We had a long discussion about where to go with the barracks themselves. It looks like some of the central spine wall will have to come out to allow us to start tying up the sequences either side of it.

Usual range of nice finds, several nice pins, and a splendid fragment of trail decorated glass.

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