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Area B half way though
Topic Started: Jun 23 2008, 04:19 AM (630 Views)
Justin
Member
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Amazingly we are close to half way through the season already and I thought it was time to post an upate on how things stand so far.

We have found the extant of the stone built vicus to the south west of the fort now where it seems a small area of industrial workshops lay. A lead brooch - perhaps a blank for a mould may indicate one of the items being made there and the sheer amount of clinker, soot etc on the floor might indicate quite a long use for the buildings.

A network of roads (some of them better laid than others!) has been uncovered. These lead off mainly east to west away from the stone fort as expected, but one slight surprise is a nicely defined track, complete with curbs, that heads off to the southwest towards 'king cairn hill'. What were they doing up in that direction now???

A nice surprise has been a couple of inscribed items. The first was a small altar lying face down in a small pit. The inscription is far from easy to read and work is continuing at present - as soon as I know I'll let you know! Suggestions as to why the inscription is so badly carved range from illiteracy to a large quantity of celtic beer being consumed immediatley prior to carving! :P The second item was a finger ring inscribed with what looked like Matri Patri, but againmore lab work is necessary to make certain.

The excavation is now heading north, to link up with the area we examined last year and to target one or two nice repsonses on the magnetometer plan that was undertaken in the winter.

It's looking good so far and I'm sure there will be lots more new information to come yet this season...............
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Justin
Member
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A general photo across area B showing the cobbled floor of the workshop with the apse in the centre.
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Justin
Member
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We now have a large area opened up between where we finished last summer and this year's trench and it is beginning to make some sense.

There has clearly been some form of industrial activity going on as evidenced by the large volume of various types of slags coming off a heavily iron pan encrusted occupation surface. The walls for this workshop, timber, or stone are still elusive, but the building seems to underly, and therefore predate, a later cobbled area. the dating material associated with the cobbles suggest it to have been early 3rdC in date so fitting in with the origianal vicus. Maybe we have something like a market place, or a parade ground. No doubt things will become clearer as we dig further.

The other nice feature in the area is what seems to be a large ditch (yup there's a surprise in my area :P ) It seems to be turning on an angle and could be a pre Hadrianic fort ditch, a field boundary, corner of a construction camp, drainiage ditch............etc etc We need to see more of it and get some dating material now, so guess what the next few weeks will be spent doing. Lots to do! photos to be posted when I get time to resize and post them.
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Justin
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Thanks for the support folks. I'm just sorry to report that ever since we found the ditch it hasn't stopped raining. I'm itching to get in there but the surplus water is currently lapping over the trench edge every morning.

Good luck on those various digs, i hope they turn up all manner of goodies for you.

And Harry - I take your point entirely! :P It is becoming an annual nightmare! At least this one seems to be running in a straight line and not going around the bend like last years - or was that just the archaeoogist?!?
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