Justin
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Justin
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Joined: 7:12 PM - Oct 02, 2006

8:33 PM - Jul 10, 2010 #21

Week 13.

Well there was certainly nothing unlucky about week 13! Simply stunning archaeology this week. Not going to be outdone with a fragment of writing tablet in the last couple of weeks, the week 13 crew turned up timber posts by the dozen, oak sleeper beams, laminate flooring, a potential well, road surfaces and stone walls, the best part of a votive face pot - pretty much in situ, and who could forget Bob's potential round house? :'( Its taking some figuring out what exactly was going on in that area but my word is it fun!

I suppose we were exceptionally lucky with the weather again, dodging the rain until the final hours, but it has been a brilliant week. A huge thank you to all who took part and made it such fun, you seriously progressed the site this last week and it was a huge pleasure working with you all. How are we going to be able to top that?
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Justin
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Justin
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3:48 PM - Jul 17, 2010 #22

Week 14.

Well I suppose it had to happen eventually, but the weather broke this week and made life exceptionally frustrating indeed. In and out of the tea shed like yo yo's, the week 14 team were brilliant in putting up with the worst weather Northumberland could throw at them with grit and determination to make the best of it all. A massive thank you to everyone for making what could have been a disaster for the archaeology, with us all plodging about in it, actually fairly easy to manage.

We now have even more posts popping out all over the place and some of them are real whoppers! The buildings seem to line up very nicely with similar wattle fences found way back in 2000, which is nice, but there is still insufficient to establish conclusively what they were used for as yet. There has been some stunning preservation and I'd expected a few writing tablets by now if I was honest, but the amount of horse muck, coupled with the fact i've yet to meet a horse that could write, may explain some of that! Might we be in a stable housing some of our Vardullian cavalry? Maybe time will tell.......

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Justin
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4:08 PM - Jul 24, 2010 #23

Week 15.

A rough start to the week with torrential rain, but it certainly didn't dampen spirits, or productivity-especially of small finds. Beads galore, a lump of Roman rope, bits of armour, more leather than we could bag up, and a superb bronze stud in immaculate condition (surely a certain addition to the new museum displays in due course). Quite a week really.

I reckon we now have two phases of timber buildings dating to the early/mid second century. One, probably a stable given the amount of horse manure and the second almost certainly a leather working workshop given the amount of scrap leather and off-cuts turning up. Also we definitely have a stone building vicus structure flanking the northwest edge of our back alley. Will the plough ravages have left enough behind to interpret what was happening in there?

It has been another brilliant week. A huge thank you to the team of diggers, you made it a really fun week and I thoroughly enjoyed working with you all. How we top that week I'm really not sure......
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Justin
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3:53 PM - Jul 31, 2010 #24

Week 16.

After almost three years of seeking a decent stone vicus building it looks like we have finally clipped the corner of one! A fab effort saw a hearth and a collection of glass beads appear in conjunction with the existing stone wall. It's looking promising so far.

Elsewhere Imelda Marcos would have been proud of our collection of shoes: a sewing needle and three wood combs might point to industry asssociated with our leather workshop. Other news of the timber buildings is that one of them is going around the bend, (some might say in reflection of the archaeologist!) so perhaps we have some form of stock pen. Time will tell on that one, but as per usual in area B, a multitude of later features have chopped away bits of the evidence.

Anyway, it has been another very successful week, so I owe a hearty thank you to the volunteers of week 16 for putting in such a sterling effort, it was a pleasure to work with you all.
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Last edited by Justin on 3:55 PM - Jul 31, 2010, edited 1 time in total.
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Justin
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4:07 PM - Aug 07, 2010 #25

Week 17.

Well, find of the week has to be the little lead object that just maybe has the potential to be another MVTVNVS type offering. Watch this space when the lab have done their stuff, but it looked promising at the trench edge.

Elsewhere, we cariied out a lot of road cleaning and then road clearance producing some nicely stratified material. Will the pottery etc turn out to be the same date as the archaeologist reckons the features to have been ???? :ermm: Time will tell.

Frustratingly, every time we got going in the timber buildings another heavy shower undid all our good work, but even so, we established a NW-SE alignment for the later of the timber structures and even identified two wattle cross walls.

All in all a very successful week in terms of features and small finds! A big thank you to everyone who took part and helped this week, it was great to see some old friends and also meet some new ones. Hopefully see you next year.
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Justin
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4:09 PM - Aug 14, 2010 #26

Week 18.

It may have been a dry summer, but my lord did that change this week! I can't remember a week so persistently wet for many a year.

However, thanks to a remarkably stoical and enthusiastic group of excavators we still achieved a remarkable amount. A half dozen pot stamps will surely give us half a chance of a decent date for two of the second century timber buildings. We turned up what has to rate as one of the finest boxwood nit combs from Roman Britain, complete with inlaid brass plate depicting what looks like Mars. Was the tiny bronze spoon for medicine or were the Romans chasing the dragon? :P

The timber posts continue to pop up like mushrooms (well I suppose it is the season) and we have new features to chase in the final week - can we find out why there is so much soot in the north of the trench? Is it really a hearth in the trench edge? Oh so much to do and so little time left.......

A massive thank you to the crew of week 18 because you made what could have been a very difficult week, given the weather, a resounding success. For anyone viewing it, this week's team photo was taken on the driest day of the week, which says it all........

PS: the inscribed lead badge that turned up last week turned out to read >VENATOR FECIT made by Venator. Well done Sue!
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Justin
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3:51 PM - Aug 21, 2010 #27

Week 19.

Well that's it, another season over, done and dusted. How fast did that one pass?

It was another week of frustrating weather, with lots of showers spoiling our efforts to tidy up and record everything, but we still had a great week. Spoons, shoes, circular things with the emperor's face on 'em, oh all manner of things.

Probably most significant though was some great datable material from under one of our roads, and a nice hearth in one of the timber buildings - so people looked to have been living there after all!

A huge thanks you to the crew from week 19 who had to put up with me running around like a loony recording stuff and getting the site ready to put to bed for the winter. You were fantastic and it was great to be able to work with you.

I think it is fair to say that Area B was really fun place to excavate this summer - the archaeology was absolutely stunning!

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TonyK
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5:33 PM - Sep 12, 2010 #28

Success, I think! All being well you should find attached two photos. The first shows the two halves of the quernstone reunited. The second shows Lorna & I standing in front of the two halves. They were found c7-8 weeks and 30 yards apart.

Congratulations to all of you on all you've found after I left.

Tony
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