Sunday, Sunday

A slow start to the day…I think there were a few sore heads… would seem that not all pirates can hold their rum? Anyone visiting us today would have been struck by the sight of men with smoky smudged eye-liner, stripy shirts and a few bedraggled skull and cross bone flags.

But the dig must go on! And so it did! We welcomed Jan’s PitStop to site: bacon butties and egg rolls – exactly what tired Pirates need for the morning after.

The archaeology is beginning to reveal itself, and it is becoming clear to us what our strategy needs to be over the next 5 weeks.

Insula IX: in Sarah and Su’s south-east area, the careful measured drawing of the south section is almost complete, and excavation of features cut into the early 1st century AD garden soil is beginning. Nick’s area is concentrated on the archaeology remaining below the AD43 building excavated here. Already features cutting the natural geology are showing. In Matt’s area, it is a tale of 2 round houses: one beneath the east-west Roman street at the north end of the site (and consisting of a circular area of orange clay), and one substantial one in the centre of the trench, c.11m in diameter and identified by a drip gully. Many excitements for Week 2!

Insula III: early Roman walls are being revealed at the base of the Victorian trenches. Excavation here is a fascinating jigsaw puzzle: what is Roman and what is Victorian? The Victorian trenches also produce a great number of finds, making excavation here exciting and rewarding.

A well-made early Roman wall foundation in the base of a Victorian trench

A well-made early Roman wall foundation in the base of a Victorian trench

The so-called ‘hypocaust’ identified by the Victorians is now seen as being, without a doubt, a late Roman, maybe even post Roman, corn drying area. We have revealed its extent and are now excavating the Victorian backfill within it. As yet we have no idea as to its original depth, and we are hoping against hope that the Victorians left some of the original fill in place – not just to provide us with a date, but also to provide us with an environmental sample with clues as to diet and subsistence.

The corn drying area looking east

The corn drying area looking east

After packing up for the day at 5pm, I spent the next 2 hours checking in our new arrivals. Only 10 people arriving tonight, and then another 10 arriving tomorrow morning. Of the 10 arrivals, 4 had been before, so I carried out a brief welcome of the newcomers before delivering them to ‘family dinner’ with their supervisory groups.

End of the last first week. Amanda-over-and-out

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