News 2018- 12-05 Finds washing & processing
Another busy day was spent indoors with the group cleaning and weighing finds mostly from recent excavations which had been kept safely in storage. It was a proper little "production line" with the five ladies shown here, including the return to the fold of a former member Tina, all washing and cleaning pottery and glass as well as brushing off the mud and dirt from metal and bone (items seldom washed) seen in the photo below.
A bigger group than usual came today (around eleven) which was great and provided a chance to catch up on news. Some folk who had been unable to come for a while told us they knew what we were doing because they had been following us on this website, which was good to hear.
Once the finds are clean and dry they are weighed and counted (above by Keith and Ian) and handwritten into a form or table. Francesca, also seen here, next puts that information onto a data base. At the weighing and counting stage it is sometimes the first opportunity to thoroughly examine the finds and to determine their age, make, type, etc. Francesca likes to gather as much detail as possible on every item, so it's important for the forms to be as accurate and descriptive as possible as it will eventually go into a report. Since we are a mainly amateur group, days like this are also a good opportunity for members to learn more about what they've been handling on site and sometimes become sufficiently inspired as to go away and do their own research.
Lunch time and, while everyone tucks into Terry's yummy homemade soup, there is a chance to discuss the group's projects for the forthcoming year. Another topic was that, having found an alternative storage place for our finds, we must try to arrange for a working party to go and prepare the venue first.