29/07/11

A TOWN UNEARTHED – 2nd and 3rd July 2011

A Town Unearthed – 2nd and 3rd July 2011  

Saturday – Beautiful, sunny and hot day with a slight breeze. 

Back from holiday to find the Villa fully exposed and the diggers well into the courtyard area.  The ground was like iron and after a miserable try at trowelling  I gave up and joined  the outreach team to look after visitors. 

The cabin has been kitted out with information for visitors and exhibits from the dig.  Our leader now has a desk for his own use and there is a dustbin with drawers in it for visitors to pull out and look at artifacts from the various periods of occupation on the site.

The top drawer, otherwise known as  – THE SLICED BREAD PERIOD – contains some of Folkestones’ rubbish from the current occupation – YOU SHOULD SEE IT!! 

You can also see our very own quern stone that grinds grain as it was done in the iron age – NO SUPERMARKETS THEN.  Remember quern stones – they were made on this site and exported all over the known world. 

We had a group from Athens who were very impressed with our villa and they should know.  What they saw is only a fraction of what is here. 

Sunday 

What a weekend!  We had almost FIFTEEN HUNDRES VISITORS come to see how the dig was progressing.  A good number had been a few times last year and were back to see how we were getting on and to visit the Roman Re-enactment Group we had here for the weekend. 

It was an excellent show and gave a true picture (taken from archaeological artefacts) of how the Romans organised their lives.  I can recommend it to anyone who gets the chance to see it in another location. 

The surgeons exhibit was the stuff of nightmares.  I’m sure the kids loved it. 

They also loved laying into the gladiators when they had the opportunity.  Those sticks may have been foam plastic but it looked pretty nasty to me. 

FOLKESTONE IS GETTING VERY INTERESTED AND SUPPORTIVE OF WHAT WE ARE ENDEAVOURING TO ACHIEVE ON THIS SITE. 

Many signed the visitors’ book or put their observations on the board provided.  We now have a flip chart for that as we needed more room for comments.  The general feeling was that we should continue excavating the site after our three years is up.  YES PLEASE – IF WE CAN GET THE FUNDING. 

To quote Andrew from one of his talks –  

ARTIFACTS STEM FROM AN IDEA THAT SOMEONE HAS HAD – FROM THE THINGS THEY LEAVE BEHIND WE LEARN WHAT THEY WERE LIKE AND HOW THEY LIVED. 

All this knowledge is lying beneath our feet and waiting to be found.  East Wear Bay villa site is not just about the Romans.  Underneath is the Iron, the Bronze, the Stone and all the other periods going back to before the English Channel was there. 

Anything found once it goes over the cliff is interesting but useless because we can’t relate it to what is above. 

We unearthed a piece of shard today that appeared to be just that until the pot washers cleaned it and it turned out to have little holes in it.  Is it part of a colander or a cheese press?  We will know in due course. 

The pot washers, posh title – FINDS PROCESSORS – are a grand bunch doing a very essential and important part of the whole operation.  VOLUNTEERS WELCOME. 

Digger

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post is in: Digger's diary