Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Wednesday, July 28
Peter and Matt have decided it is time to entirely remove the bridge separating the two halves of the trench. The job is given to Jonathon and myself.
The first step in the process is to make a drawing showing the precise locations of all rocks, etc in the bridge before we start to take it apart. This requires running string line and a tape measure along the bridge’s entire length and then taking measurements of everything. This takes us the better part of the morning.
In the afternoon we start to remove the bridge a couple of inches at a time. The first 4 inches are the most difficult as the soil is hard packed from having been walked on for nearly two weeks and dried out as we have had very little rain in the last few days. As we go we continue to find lots of bone, broken pottery, nails and the occasional small find. Peter is growing increasingly unhappy with our rate of progress. I have joked with my digging partners that he doesn’t seem interested in finds, only in features and this tension in the digging is becoming more obvious. Toward the end of the day he really gets on us about it and we remove three or four inches of soil and don’t sift it for finds. He is happy about better progress but we are unhappy about the things that won’t get “found” and will go directly into the spoil heap.
In the evening we attend the last of our lectures, this one on Hadrian’s Wall and the way people interact with, and document, it. The lecturer, an archeologist from Durham has been working on a big project about this but is all seems rather obvious to me.
After that, I go back to the house, grab all my dirty laundry (which at his point it nearly everything I have with me) and go to the main house. While the laundry is in progress I start working on my pictures. More people show up and pretty soon we are having a huge party. Three separate tables have games of cider pong in progress, a number of us are working on computers, iPods are blaring music, etc. It is still going strong at 11pm when the house porter arrives to ask us to tone it down due to the hour. Laundry finished, I leave. (In the morning I learn the party doesn’t end until nearly 3am and is now added to the legends of the trip.)
About the image:
The bridge separating the two halves of the "circular feature" before we begin to remove it.