Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vindolanda digging report day eight. Various diversions

When you are on an archeological dig you spend most of your time, naturally, digging.  But there are a few other tasks.  We are also expected to do a bit of pot washing.  You would be surprised how often interesting small details turn up in this process--one bit of pot I found last week actually had a potter's mark on it indicating its origins.  Sometimes we even see scratched on graffiti that identifies the owner of the vessel.

Here are some contented pot washers:

And the final results

We also have to do a bit of training in site recording.  We get to use equipment similar to that used by surveyors, that allows exact location in three dimensions.  Here is one of my digging cohorts trying his hand.

All this is instructional, of course, but coupled with periodic rains it was a short digging session.  We are currently, painstakingly, exposing the patio outside a barracks floor.  For some reason there is a big pile of boulders in the middle of it all.  I hate these boulders.  I look forward to taking a pick axe to them in the very near future.

And underneath?  Well, I shall let you know.  It could be a pit (with or without other artifacts) filled in with rubble.  It could be rocks thrown there for no apparent reason.  But it should be mentioned that in the building just past that stone wall an unexpected find occured last season...a murder victim buried in the barracks floor!

Maybe we will find the murder weapon.

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