Monday, 14 June 2010

Cosmeston Dig - Day 3

Today was a great day weather wise, not too warm (my sunburn doesn't like warm!) and no rain. We mostly finished clearing out the trenches from last year this morning, so time to move on! We started cleaning back the other areas (removing the very top layer of soil with the trowel so you can see any contrast in soil colour/compaction etc) ... oooor, so you can see the top of a wall! The photo underneath is of what might possibly be the remains of a boundary wall which was uncovered this morning. This will be cleaned more carefully for a photograph and for a plan to be compiled.

This is another one of the areas (photo below) where we have been cleaning back. You can see the possible demolition remains of another wall running diagonally across the corner. The roots here were a nightmare! We had to cut some of these with pruning scissors but some of the bigger ones had to be sawn out. I felt a bit guilty about the tree but he's a big boy and I'm sure he can cope with the ones left. Three of us were cleaning this section back and the area where the stone is starting to taper off is where poor Jas had moved over so I could work ... and also the area where I then flicked out a silver threepence piece!!!! (I am so sorry Jas! I know how annoying it is to be moved then the person who takes over finds something!!) More details of the coin in the finds section at the end!

This is the cleared out trench (below) from last year that we were working on yesterday. All of the protective covering is still down, I cant wait to take it off and see what is underneath! Obviously our edges need sorting out but our main aim was to get the bulk of the fill out to begin with, the edges couldn't be done until we found the sides! The area where the coin was found is the section off to the right in the front of the picture. Hopefully you can picture the layout a little better if I try and describe it until I draw a rough plan of everything for you. The deep trench that you can see at the back of the picture running off to the left is shown in the next photo along. They form a long T shape across our area.

This photo below is the other arm of the T shape which I told you about. You can see the sides cut nice and clean along this trench. This helps in the same way as cleaning the flat horizontal surfaces, you can see the different layers of soil, in which order they formed, from which direction soil was washed into ditches ... it is really important to keep these clean when you are trying to interpret formation processes or even work out where or what to dig next. You can see most of the team here hard at work!! (Apart from me who was bunking off taking pictures!)

Okay, here is the section you have been waiting for!!! (Well I got excited about it anyway!) This is the silver threepence which I found today (below, im sure you can see the photo/text trend here). It had been reworked into the soil, meaning that it was probably not in the place where it was originally deposited (this can happen due to many things such as ploughing or even worms!). It is a Victorian threepence from 1887 as you can see from the picture below. This particular coinage, interestingly enough was changed in 1887. Our coin features the younger head and the early version of the crown on the reverse, this was the last year that this coin was struck. Later in the same year the crown changed and the head became either the elder head or the coronation version. It may have been that both types of coins were produced all through 1887 but I think it more likely that one went out of production early in the year (our coin) to be replaced by the new one.

You may also be surprised to find out that this was how the coin came out of the ground. It hasn't been cleaned in any way for the photo. It was so clean I actually thought it might be a very thin, modern, five pence piece (this should also give you an indication of the coins size). This was our first small find from the site, and also my first small find too!!! (I have a big grin! ... yes still ... that's how sad I am!)

These photos below are some of the bulk finds which have been found over the three days. They include various iron objects, animal remains and pottery

The photo below is I believe a tooth from a sheep and a bone from a young sheep. (although I may be wrong, small bones are quite hard to identify as a particular animal unless you specialise in studying them) These were found in the fill of the trenches from last year.

These finds below are again from the backfill, as you can see the bag has been labelled. Possibly a buckle and some kind of iron nail.

The next photo is of (mainly) pottery finds which can sometimes provide valuable dating evidence (although not on this particular occasion) There is also a small piece of bone.

Hopefully some more finds, walls and (fingers crossed) coins, tomorrow!!! I best get some sleep now as my muscles are wrecked from all of the shovelling!!
Nighty night! Archaeology Bee, out! x

No comments:

Post a Comment