Monday, May 14, 2012

Vindolanda 2012 day six

Those nice deep trenches full of black sticky soil that preserves everything.......


Well, guess what.  They don't start out that way.  Nope, they begin with a process called "de-turfing".  This involves sliceing up wet, heavy turf (don't use the word sod here in the UK) and removing it.
You cut it up into chunks and load it into barrows.  These are about 2/3 full.  I hauled a lot of these today.  Just thought you might be interested in the less glamourous side of archeology.

In theory our supervisors have us open up new areas for a reason.  In this case we are trying to establish a water source at the head of a channel that feeds a bath house.  Is there a spring, or a water tank up there somewhere?  This kind of surface work rarely turns up artifacts, but we did find a very corroded Roman coin and we also found this:

A nice chunk of Roman tile.  I figured, great!, this is just what you would find on the floor of a spring house or the area around a fountain.  I mean, in looking at samples for a home bathroom remodel I saw pretty much the same kind of stuff.

And it could be so, but an alternate theory is that the cross cuts were to hold plaster, and that the stuff was used for walls.

More secrets lie below, stay tuned.

The awful Twice Brewed Pub Quiz is tonight.  Last week's outing was too pathetic to chronicle.

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