Thursday, 30 June 2016

And they're off

Apologies for the radio silence whilst we got ourselves going: it's been a busy week!

The undergraduates arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Sunday to a trench with a rather terrifying amount of backfill still to remove. A number of deep, narrow interventions in the trench excavated last year prevented the unwieldy digger bucket from emptying them entirely, and so it was left to mattocks, shovels, wheelbarrows, and a great deal of sweat and toil from our keen young archaeologists to get the trench ready for some real excavation to happen.

This part of the dig is often one of gloomy moods, particularly when the weather is as it has been, but the team has been working exceptionally hard to get something in excess of ten tons out of the trench and up the spoil heap in under three days. And only minimal grumbling of sore backs. We were very impressed!

Now the proper archaeology has started in earnest. Contexts are being dug, plans are being drawn, and finds are starting to come in. Perhaps the most intriguing object to come up so far has been a metal object, perhaps a knife, with a lovely carved octagonal bone handle. The photo doesn't really do it justice!

We're hoping for some slightly more clement weather now as we press on, and some exciting archaeology to come....

Friday, 24 June 2016

Rain can't stop us!

Despite some very iffy weather in the last week, we have managed to get the site all ready to start digging this weekend. Over a million kilograms of soil have been removed, the marquee has gone up, and toilets and tools have arrived. Now all we need are some students!

The first few scrapes... Our thanks to John Gibbs for cutting back the Giant Hogweed before we started!

When the Wittenham Clumps disappear, you know you're about to get soggy

It wasn't all terrible weather though. In true British fashion, we also managed to get sunburnt

Getting there...

So close!

Stay tuned for some more frequent updates once we get digging properly. And if you're in the neighbourhood, do stop by and say hello!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Not long to go now!

Digging starts in just over one week's time! We are all getting very excited as we make our final preparations, and can't wait to get our trowels into the ground.

This does mean that registrations are now closed for this season's excavations.

However, you can still come and see how we've been getting on by coming to our Open Day, on Saturday 16th July. More details can be found on our event page for the 2016 Festival of Archaeology:

And of course you can follow all our updates here on the blog, or on Facebook.

Please keep your fingers crossed for some good weather for us!