Sunday, 19 July 2015

End of week 3, Open Day, and the beginning of Week 4

Apologies for the radio silence - lots to catch up on, following a hectic week and weekend!

It feels like a long time ago, but during the rest of last week our students continued to work very well. Some great finds have come to light, including two pairs of tweezers, a fragmented nail cleaner, and several sherds of terra nigra pottery - lovely fine black slipped wares from northern Gaul dating to the first century AD, including two with potters' stamps. The week was wrapped up with an update from our director, Paul Booth, on the progress that had been made and how our understanding of the site was developing.

Copper alloy tweezers from a 'toilet-kit' - one of two pairs found in week 3

Paul Booth wrapping up the week's developments

Yesterday, instead of being a day off for the supervisory team, was our annual Open Day, and we had a great turnout, with over 200 people coming along to see what we've been up to this year. We had displays of some of the more interesting finds, tours of the site, and the opportunity to handle Roman pottery and animal bones. For the kids we had plenty of pottery and bones to wash, as well as a big pile of dirt full of interesting finds awaiting excavation.

Caution, young diggers troweling!

For the grown ups, the biggest draw of the open day was our supervisor Peter Forward's now famous Roman food stall. We had freshly baked spelt bread with epityrum, a crushed olive and herb mix made to a recipe recorded by Cato the Elder (234-149 BC), as well as grapes, whole olives, and dulcia domestica, honeyed dates stuffed with pine nuts, made to a recipe recorded in Apicius, thought to date to the late 4th or early 5th century AD. 

Peter and his incredible food

Thomas Matthews Boehmer giving a site tour

After the weekend's activities we welcomed a fresh new bunch of recruits this morning and got stuck in to our final week of the dig. The baulks bisecting the late Roman ditch are set to fall, the road continues to go down, and the ovular feature continues to challenge us. Plenty of digging and even more section and plan drawing ahead of us! 

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