Today was also another opportunity to look at some other finds, like those from a previous fieldwalk that Liz and Jenny are seen sorting and rebagging below. It is hoped that some of our new members, of whom there are two currently studying theoretical archaeology, find that handling these artefacts and learning about the context in which they were originally found will help to give them a better understanding of what to look out for during excavation when they eventually do it later in the year, when the digging season starts up again.
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 it was a warm and sticky day on the Orchard site with seven of us present. The Testpit 13 seen below was freshly opened today, close to pit 11(now closed) and pit 12, where an old map indicated a building of some sort stood. Given that the original building may have been of a timber-framed construction, there was little anticipation by the team of finding much material evidence remaining. Even so, the previous nearby pits have provided quite a bit of CBM. Indeed, Testpit 13, where the soil was fairly dark and loose and easy to excavate, soon yielded stones and CBM.
Test Pit 13, down to context 02
By contrast Test Pit12, seen below and positioned on a slope, has been very hard to excavate so far with its compacted soil and clay, which meant that context 02 (20cms down) was not reached until week 3! (We have been admiring the way that a rabbit managed to dig a hole into this soil!) The dousing of water did help on this hot, dry day and at last the pit produced some finds, mostly CMB. Even so, in one corner a bent metal with "claws" item appeared which Terry and Tina soon identified as part of a mole-trap.
This is what the mole trap should look like, but ours was bent up.
Test Pit 12- work in progress.
Meanwhile Francesca and Terry did a stock-take and during lunch we discussed our involvement in the forthcoming excavations of the Cripplegate Pipe Factory in Worcester, which will be led by Roger Moore in September.
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 can be 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 suggesting the site to NWAG and big thanks to Chris Guy the Cathedrals Archaeologist for inviting NWAG to take part in this excavation.