END OF WEEK 9
(May 30 - June 3)
Heavy focus on the expanded Site #5, continued work on Site #6
(larger version available here
*** Note the updated plan for the barrack in Site #5. The overlying 4th-5th C remains have been removed from the site, revealing the orderly 3rd C barrack block in its entirety: 8 apartments for regular soldiers, and a suite of rooms at the north end for the centurion. (Divisions in the centurion's block partially conjectural.) ***
Week 9 went from cold & clammy to full sun & scorching, with some hard digging. The heavy focus of the week was clearing all of the rooms in the Site #5 barrack block down to their original 3rd Century levels. And then to start going underneath, to the Severan & Antonine periods below. The barrack is well-preserved in places, with some walls still up to 6 courses high including foundation. The east-facing doorways are visible in most of the barrack rooms.
Within the rooms were some interesting finds of stone storage boxes, evidence of burning/fire pits, as well as some wonderful small finds -- a spearhead, stamped objects, most of a highly decorated samian bowl, much else.
One of the barracks revealed a truly impressive semicircular flagstone floor underneath its surface. Andy says that the floor predates the barrack that was built on top of it. He also says that in places diggers have come down onto levels from the AD 160s. (Keep in mind, that means that those levels have nothing to do with the currently visible barrack block -- they relate to the Antonine period fort and its arrangement of buildings/roads.)
In cleaning up the verandah area in front of the barrack block (which would be the east side -- facing "Temple Avenue"), diggers also starting delving beneath the 3rd Century levels into the Severan/Antonine below. Walls, footings, foundation rubble, and other truncated stone features have come up. Not sure yet if any sense has been made of how they relate to each other.
Lastly, other diggers continued peeling away the multiple road surfaces of the intervallum road in Site #6; no reports of finds or discoveries from there.
All in all it seems that, once consolidated, Temple Avenue and its well-preserved barrack blocks on either side should look awesome. Visitors will be able to get a true & coherent sense of space. Pretty cool.
Much thanks to Terry S & Sue Monro for details & pictures, as well as to Andy for helping fill in the blanks. Please visit the Week 9
page for great pictures & links of the barrack rooms and the samian pottery.