Walked down to Alfriston this morning to get the Telegraph so I could work out the football scores which I rang through to David. Everyone thought I was mad and, upon my return to work, I found out that David had NOT passed on the results since he didn’t win so my efforts were a waste of time after all! Sorry I doubted you, Dawn.
At the dig this morning it was another series of gravel barrows to the carpark as last nights rain and the cars had managed to squish it all up again. After many trips I made my way back to the trench where we left off yesterday but was surplus to requirements which was all Kevin needed to steal me away (with Darren & Brian as well) to section some features in Dick, the 2nd trench.
Although my feature was not particularly convincing (and indeed had nothing in it but dirt) it was fantastic to do something new. Sectioning involves a number of steps. First up you halve the feature with string and nails and trowel (if it’s small and delicate) back the rubble from one half. Once this is completed you fill in a context sheet for the fill (the rubble or whatever, fills the cut or ‘feature’). You then section draw it. This is an end elevation plotted from measurements down from your level string line.
Having drawn your half section, the string line is levelled using the total station in order to plot the position of the feature, relative to the rest of the world. It is then time to clear out the other half of it.
My, at first, unpromising hole became a slightly more interesting feature when completely cleared as a slot appeared in the bottom, giving the impression of a post hole in a post hole. The completed feature is then given a context sheet for the cut and roughly sketched in plan, relative to the sides and other features in the trench.
We were shown how to do all this by Kevin and Rob, both of whom were very patient teachers, especially given my crap drawing skills. It remains to be seen whether I get another one to do, however.
There was great excitement late in the day. Brian had taken over a feature from Roy (who leaves the dig at 3 to walk his dog) and found a loom weight. Actually he wasn’t sure what it was and we conferred (I was sifting his loose). I rinsed the dirt off what we figured was a light flint to reveal something that was clearly man made. Brian showed Kevin and suddenly the site burst into excitement. This threatened to become a riot when Kevin pulled out a complete one a little deeper down the pit.
A loom weight is a big fired clay disk which is hung from the loom when weaving in order to keep weight on it. These two are (apparently) quite small at about 300-400 mm in diameter. Gabs got a bit toe-y when Liz ran off with it. Her allergies obviously do not extend to loom weights. This was the end of a very enjoyable archaeological day – the antithesis of yesterday!
We were undecided whether to eat at the campsite or go to a pub tonight but after the rain started we went for Chinese instead. Braving the wrath of the owner of the New Dynasty where previously Lorna had destroyed the ladies loo, we barged in and took a table for 10. The food was OK (if a little overpriced) and the company clever and witty, though not as funny as last night when it was manic. Gabs was so tired he kept nodding off into his rice. Lorna went in his car with him back to camp in case he went off the road. Darren reckoned this was actually a reason NOT to go with him.
We returned to the camp quite early so we all piled into Bev and Matt’s rumpus room for some drinking and high falutin’ chat about general rubbish including the possibilities of milking a weasel and making cheese from the produce. It was decided we’d ask Martin (a cheesemonger in his spare time) the next day for his expert opinion. One thing that was decided was that you’d have to get a vole to do the actual milking as weasel teats are quite small.
Then Owen joined us and raised the tone a tad. He even consumed a bottle of Broadside, showing no ill effects whatsoever. John claimed this was because he’s English and his system is used to it, while I was raised on that ‘pissy Australian stuff’. That is a serious misquote however I believe it was his intent.
The rest of the camp stormed into the mess tent to begin 15 conversations at once as we all left for our respective bedrolls. Before dropping off, I had the odd experience of hearing loud conversation then nothing but howling wind then more loud conversation as the wind dropped. It was like intermittent deafness. And then I heard nothing at all.