16/06/11

Preparations for this summer’s villa dig

Over the last few weekends, starting on May 28th, volunteers, and archaeologists from Canterbury Archaeological trust have been working hard to prepare the Roman villa site for this year’s dig. On one weekend at least, this was for a time done in the face of strong winds and stinging rain. Yet not one person gave up though soaked to the skin and slowed by wheelbarrows clogged with mud – a sure indication of the enthusiasm that many now have for this project.  With all the earth removed and the walls exposed, work will soon begin on the ground in front of the villa between the two wings. This is an area that has never before been excavated so the archaeologists have great hopes that the remains of garden features might be revealed as well as pre-villa remains.

In the meantime, after some anxiety that rain might prevent its delivery or that we would not get the foundations level for it in time, the 32ft x 10ft temporary building arrived on site and was safely installed. Over the weekend of June 11/12 a formidable earth ramp was built on the sea side to enable easy access for all. The opposite side is near ground level so entry from there will be easy. The outfitting of the building will now commence so that eventually it will provide both a visitors centre and office space. Visitors will enter on one side to see displays about the history of the villa and examine finds as well as listen to a talk by an outreach volunteer before exiting on the other side to be shown round the dig.

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