For a change today's indoor activity consisted of several different aspects of finds processing. Usually the first one is to wash the finds, which Tina is seen doing below. Sometimes only when the dirt and mud is removed does it becomes obvious that what we previously thoughtwas a piece of pot was actually a piece of stone. Or the scruffy looking object when cleaned up proves to be a little gem of a find!
After the finds have dried they are weighed (which is what Keith was doing below on the right) and this, along with the item's description and location on site, is recorded onto a database to be included in the final report.
But today we went two stages further. Like last week, we separated more of the finds into material types for our expert to examine and, for the purposes of finally archiving, we also labelled up finds related to the reports that are nearing completion. This process involves the use of a fine pen and black or white ink to write on the find itself a code that relates to the site where it first originated from. This enables it to be easily traced back to its source should it become separated at any stage from the rest of the collection. (The reader will have noticed similar writing on artefacts in museums.)
The team (well five of us) returned to Winnall Mill armed with strimmers and secateurs to prepared the site for our annual CBA open day (see the events page). The photos below shows what it looked like when we first arrived and then how it looked by the time we left. Quite a difference. Well done team! It was a hot and humid day so the insects were nibbling, despite us having sprayed every exposed part of our flesh with instect repellant. We will be back again next week to finish off and put up signposting, etc.
Terry putting up an advertisment for our open day
We hope to see as many of our readers at the Open Day tours, which is free. There will be a tent displaying our work on this site since 2010 as well as work on other recent sites, plus, of course, the all important refreshment tent. For those of you who have not yet been, you will find it a very interesting day out in a lovely rural setting.
Today our members attended a training session on recording Contexts sheets with a view to later creating a Matrix from them. Murray Andrews (a member and qualified Archeologist) kindly agreed to present the Powerpoint seen below and clearly explained how these worked. (Most of us would agreed that it stretched our minds!)
So, hopefully, next time we are "out in the field" this talk will have given everyone a better understanding of not only how to fill in our context sheets with great detailed and accuracy, but also appreciate the overall site beyond the one trench we happen to be working on at the time.
As we began our day's excavation in the grounds outside Worcester Cathedral the weather was, to start with, warm and sunny. The original reason for the trench below being dug was because the new toilet block inside the building needed a drainage pipe connected to an existing manhole. The floor inside the College Hall is approx 1.5 metres below the tarmac level so a deep trench was required to connect up to this system, giving the archeologists an excellent opportunity to investigate this outside area at the same time.
The trench outside Worcester Cathedral where the team are seen working.
Whilst Keith, Tina, Ian, Karl and Terry dug down on to a very compacted surface, Francesca and Julie were inside the College Hall cleaning finds already collected last week from the trench .
Julie and Francesca washing finds in the College Hall at Worcester Cathedral.
Keith, Ian and Tina on the job, face with some very compacted building rubble.
Here is a sample of the pot sherds found by NWAG members today. These included three good-sized rims and a glazed medieval floor tile, not shown above.
By 14:00 hours the heavy rain started again, so we had to finish for the day. We hope to continue on next week.
Many thanks to Vanda Bartoszuk for sugesting the site to NWAG and big thanks to Chris Guy the Cathedrals Archaeologist for inviting NWAG to take part in this excavation.