Monday, 14 June 2010

Cosmeston Dig - Day 2

Today started out with the continuation of the work from the day before. Emptying out the backfill from the trenches that were dug last year. The archaeology had been covered and protected by a textile sheeting which you can see in the photos as a white layer. Some photos from the past two days show how work has progresses in the first trench I worked in. This is just after we had begun. The orange markers you can see in the grass are setting out a 2 meter by 2 meter grid for us to work from.

In this area we are uncovering where last years trench revealed a substantial wall, although the emptying seems like it is never ending it is surprising how much soil you can actually move. Our problem was the amount of huge stones and boulders that had been thrown back in to fill the trench. These slowed us down a lot but even then we made good progress.

Here, in the above photo, you can see the white of the covering which shows us we have reached last years levels. It is usually a geotextile which is used. Lots of people ask why we fill the trenches back in only to dig it all back out again next year. Well probably one of the main reasons is for protection. The geotextile and soil backfill provide both protection and support from many environmental and human factors. It is also a cheap and easy solution. If the trench was left open, weeds would quickly take over the area, it would start to silt up with the deposition of soils washed in by rain and the archaeology would quickly start to physically deteriorate. Even something as seemingly permanent as a stone wall can fall into complete ruin in a very short period of time if left unmanaged.
This is the trench just before lunch time at 1.00 p.m. We are 'chasing' or following the geotextile along so we can see where the edges and bottom of the trench will be. As you can see here, there is still a lot of soil to come out.

This is as we are reaching the end of the trench having found the bottom. The trench still needs extending at least 1 foot to the right on the picture above. This is shown by the geotextile continuing underneath the current edge. The roots caused a huge problem on the left side and we had to really clean up the edges of the trench later on.


What did we find today? As with yesterday, this work is removing soil that was dug out by archaeologists last year, so nearly all of the finds should have been spotted by them the first time around before the soil was put back in. However Amy here found a lovely pound coin. It seems one archaeologist was missing some beer money when they got to the pub last year!

No comments:

Post a Comment