30/03/11

DIGGERS DIARY – 31ST AUGUST – 3RD SEPTEMBER 2010

A Town Unearthed  31st August  – 3rd  September 2010

 Someone asked me the other day “why are you writing the diary” – Because I opened my mouth in the Pub, made what I thought was a useful suggestion and forgot to head for the nearest exit. 

Bank Holiday Monday

 In Room 51 where there are foundations of the earlier Villa.  Just in case I haven’t told you.  There are two Villas on this site. We found the floor area strewn with boulders and large stones.  Much speculation on what this might mean so, before a decision could be made they had to be cleaned up and exposed.  Every level has to be recorded before it can be removed.

 Decision was that Mr Winbolt had just back filled a space with stuff that was of no importance and so out they had to come.

 You’ve heard of getting a quart into a pint pot.  This was in reverse -or – HOW MANY SMARTIES IN THE POT! 

A chain was formed and jobs allocated.  Some to extract, others to carry and barrow and at the end of the chain a DRY STONE WALL was built.  Bruce, in the interests of statistics, started counting and lost the will to live at some where between 966 and 1’000. 

The rest of us, being mere weaklings could only look on in sympathy, in between tidying up the other walls and a secret (thank God its not us) as boulders flew out of the hole along with perspiration.

 Every day is different as I get placed in various rooms to – as our leader puts it – make the walls look pretty.  This takes the form of trowelling

around the stones of the foundations and walls to remove  any dirt or ash that is still hanging around.     

Why do we have to make them look pretty? I asked – FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS – Oh, right then. 

Well, when will we be doing the photographs? – WHEN WE HAVE GOT DOWN TO THE LEVEL OF THE ORIGINAL DIG – AND – THE LIGHT IS RIGHT. 

The light is hardly ever right and Keith has climbed up his step ladders with various cameras on a number of occasions but fingers crossed has finally got the pictures in the bag. I hope. 

2nd September 2010

We have to get down to Winbolts original level before we can dig any further, so, that’s what we have been doing, although there is a little group working on an area just outside Villa Room 51.   This bit has never been dug before and some interesting pre- Roman pieces are coming up. 

Trowelling Room 52, still making the stones look pretty, out of the ground, came what looked like a piece of heavy duty wire.  I found this, I said, when Keith inspected my finds tray – looks like fuse wire.

 Dig a hole and bury me please! The tale of the – BRONZE AGE PIN – found in room 52 is going to do the rounds of  various dining  tables for years to come. 

There’s an anomaly in the wall of the room I worked on today.  There appears to be an abutment in the middle and either side of this the construction is totally different.  What does this tell us?  Why was it chopped off halfway down and restarted in a different style? – Find out in another episode because at the moment it is a mystery.   

3rd September 2010

 We have archaeology students come and help from time to time and today one of them found what was eventually identified as a spatula, but because of its shape and size there were various suggestions as to it use going around the site.  One was an earwax remover.  There were other rather vulgar suggestions which are not repeatable.

 It was actually used to remove ointments or cosmetics from jars or bottles.  So tiny and dainty with a little hole in one end, presumably to hang on a chain or hook.

 Still making the walls look pretty.

 Digger.

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