So , we being our new series of project blog entries- today, we hear from Madelaine Ager, one our First year archaeology students:
“It’s the beginning of the fieldwork season and it has fallen to me to start off the blogging of what’s going on at Binchester. Yesterday, our first day on site, the main activity was cleaning the whole site using hoes and shovels. This was an important step because it allowed us to see far more clearly any differences in soil types which might indicate the presence of a feature. Once the site was cleaned small sections containing possible features were marked off and work began on clearing those to determine types of soil and the boundaries between them. The section on which I was working initially showed signs of a ditch running across it but once we had cleared it there was no trace of a boundary. We found sherds of pottery and ceramic building material, as well as bone fragments in our section. We continued our work searching for the boundary today, and our section was merged with the next one because the features appeared to be intersecting. Eventually we came upon the boundary between the dark fill soil and the gravel with our mattocks. We then cleaned up the area using trowels which allowed us to see the boundaries more clearly and define them. “
We should perhaps add, yesterday was one of the hottest days we’ve ever had on site, and for many of our student it was their first day working on an archaeological project. They worked like Trojans and deserve a hearty pat on the pack (and probably a 99 with a flake!).