Despite the horrendous weather overnight, it was a fine day on site today, as we were joined by our volunteer excavators. Many of them have been with us since we first started at Binchester in 2009. In total we had nearly 90 people on site today, which means that work went ahead full steam.
In Trench 1, we continued with yesterday's plans- still trying to link all the features along the northern edge of the trench. We also started removing the interior of the corner tower- this has yet to produce any floor levels, although we live in hope. In the barrack, we've continued with the removal and cleaning of surfaces. We've also already begun the process of breaking the students into the joys of planning, as we started the planning of several parts of the later phase of the roadside gulley to the east and north of the trench, so we can start dismantling it.
In Trench 2, our poking around in the floor of the bath-house changing room has inevitably made things more complicated. The footings of the side wall of the plunge bath that was removed are now clearly visible, and the arrangement of the opus signinum is more complex than we expected, indicating some possible sub-divisions? We've also got a nice patch of concrete? with a possible construction cut for the bath side wall. There are also other undefined patches and areas of discolouration which require more fiddling with to clarify. To the west of the bath-house we have two teams clearing the layers associated with a possible path/road that runs north-south between the bath and the nicely built wall that seperates it from the strip buildings. We have a couple of roadside gullies and also removed some possible collapse tumble along the external edge of the bath wall.
To the south of the bath, we've been clearing the areas beneath where the two late buildings had previously stood, and will try and bring this area down to as low a level as possible over the forthcoming weeks. We also continued the removal of some of the road surfaces in the adjacent area.
More nice finds, several beads (from both trenches), more coins, a nice copper ring and pleasingly what appears to be a flattened gold ring, which will need to be reported as treasure.
This blog will share information about the major new field project at the Roman fort of Binchester (Co. Durham), run jointly by Durham County Council, the Dept. of Archaeology, Durham University, Vinovia.org, Texas Tech University and the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland. It will communicate news, events, and once the field season starts a daily update of the discoveries on site. To find out more visit our website