Community Dig 2014 – Day One – Turf Off!

The day started in earnest at 9am with the first sods of turf being removed and stacked by the wall. By 10am we had it all removed and the exciting prospect of hand excavation started. What would we find? Oh the anticipation! Within minutes we came across an area of stones in the top right corner of Trench 1. Could it be part of a wall, a building, a grand hall, no, no, surely a Medieval castle or an Iron Age Cairn! It was obvious we needed to calm down, so we retired for a cup of tea and a biscuit (Hobnobs today).

After tea break our hopes were dashed of anything at this level being older than the last century, let alone Medieval, as lots of modern white teacups appeared. This was closely followed by glass bottles, iron nails, spade heads, terracotta plant pots, animal bone, a Heinekin beer can, 2 plastic combs and a rubber sole. The spoil heap grew and the modern finds started to dwindle. This was a good thing. We were getting past our modern rubbish.

The afternoon progressed steadily, if not painfully, for many of us we hadn’t excavated in a while and so the aches were starting to set in. With our kneecaps screaming for mercy we called it a day at 4pm. We set out a section with string to excavate tomorrow to hopefully see if the stones have been dumped onto the ground or if they are set in. This is crucial in the understanding of how this rise to the wall came about.

So what are we thinking after day one? What is this strange collection of stones doing? Is it demolition from a wall? The result of dumping from digging out a ditch? Or quite simply, “Where did I put that Deep Heat?

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