Saturday, 12 June 2010

Cosmeston Dig - Day 1

Today was the start of the dig at the Medieval Village in Cosmeston, South Wales. The site was discovered through archaeological excavation in 1977 and 1982. The foundations of around five 13th and 14th century stone buildings were discovered and representations of these were built in their exact locations to reconstruct part of the medieval village which is now open to the public.

This year the dig is concentrating in the area where the manor house is believed to have stood. Our trench positioning was guided by both geophysics and also trial trenches that went in last year, revealing the remains of some substantial walls. The area is also labelled "Cosmeston Castle" on some old maps revealing what once may have stood there.

Most of the first day was spent setting up the site. The various large canvas tents had to be put up for areas to sort finds and almost as importantly to make a nice cup of tea! The weather was glorious which would be great if we weren't all working so hard! My first top tip for the budding archaeologist is WEAR SUN LOTION and reapply constantly!! I did not reapply and am now a shade somewhere between a beetroot and a lobster. It's seriously not good for your skin so please remember to cover up and apply sunblock.

Work on the trenches started after lunch. The area had been de-turfed previously which was great as it is a very large area to de-turf by hand. That alone would have probably taken the rest of the afternoon so it was a good job it was done before we got there! The aim for the afternoon was to clear out the backfill of the trenches from last year down to archaeology so we could begin the new work. It was hard going I can tell you! The trenches were full of huge rocks making it painfully slow to mattock and dig out.

I'm thinking we should be done clearing the backfill by lunch time tomorrow and then we can move onto more interesting things.


Nothing much finds wise to report today as it was all backfill and anything found was unstratified. However I did find some nice fossils which I took home and a small piece of Medieval roof tile which was coated on one side with a green glaze to my surprise. It is apparently a common feature of the high Medieval period, you learn something new every day!
Hopefully tomorrow may bring some new finds!

No comments:

Post a Comment