I should sub title this post "The Edge of Anaerobia" as we spent a brilliant, sunny day flirting with the very edge of where anaerobic preservation allows organic material to survive.
First a view of the trench from above. The orange area of burning can be seen clearly. You may recall that this was a large baking oven.
Ovens are not a place for small finds, anything organic becomes ash and it was probably hot enough to put paid to most metals. But they do have a large amount of packing clay around them. When I was briefly ahead of the schedule of cutting and crumbling for finds I quickly fashioned a crude "cave bear" to provide some company for the plastic dinosaur in whose company I started the excavation week.
We had relatively few finds but they were all interesting. We seem to be on a roll for graffiti. Here is the handle of an amphora (huge pottery storage jug) with the number eight (VIII) on it. It would make sense for this to be some sort of inventory number.
Here's an odd one. Just at the edge of preservation we came up with this heel from a Roman shoe. The leather is brittle and nearly fossilized but the pattern of hobnails can be clearly seen.
Ever wonder what a delicate wooden comb looks like when it sees the light of day for the first time in 1900 years? Happy to oblige.
Forecast for tomorrow is favorable.