Sheep plotting their next sneaky move to rush the electric fence!
As part of the Heritage Open Days and for the benefit of the first school groups, excavation in the additional Trench 4 commenced under the supervision of Jon Kenny from York Archaeological Trust and Lisa Keys of Minerva Heritage.
Jon Kenny and Lisa Keys (both in hi vis vests) supervising Trench 4
As a consequence of all the excavating, a large quantity of Roman finds have been unearthed. Sandra and her assistants Janice and Rosalie have been busy overseeing the finds washing, and because of the warm weather much of it has actually dried, so it is hoped much of this year's finds will be ready to go to the relevant specialists soon after the excavation has ended.
Finds happily drying in the sun
In Trench 1, excavation of the Roman road continued. Beneath the latest gravel surface was evidence of successive repairs of the road bed (apparently by the cart-load) and gravel patching. In the building alongside the road, yet another layer of rubble demolition/landfill was removed but at last this revealed deposits probably relating to the occupation of the structure; these were ashy and contained much iron slag, but may have been brought in to form a floor and don't necessarily mean that metal-working took place within the building.
Trench 1 showing the Roman road
Trench 2 saw the removal of a wall in the centre of the trench and the rubble overlying it. There now seems to be a succession of cobble layers and deposits with in-situ burning, the slag therein indicating iron-working. Investigation of the low, north end of the trench encountered a possible beam slot, but otherwise there were primarily dumps in probable stream deposits.
Supervisor Bryan talking to diggers about his trench
In Trench 3 the stone wall foundations at the south end were confirmed as forming the north-east end of a large timber building, with a cobble surface to its rear. The latest feature within the building was a clay and cobble oven containing much charcoal. At the north end of the trench, a small hearth and other features indicate considerable activity across the entire trench.
Watch out for the next excavation update, including news of the environmental sampling activity.
Kurt Hunter-Mann, Site Director
York Archaeological Trust