Posted by: lukelavan | August 27, 2009

Test Pits and Rat Pooh

This morning our team was greeted by an unpleasant surprise – our finds washing area was covered by rat droppings. Evidentially our site gets a number of nocturnal vistors apart from the guard dogs who patrol the site against looters at night. Not only were the trays infected but also the washed finds. Thankfully from today we can store our equipment in a lock up shed, which will prevent this from happening again.

Helen's finds area has been the host to several unpleasant surprises.

Helen's finds area has been the host to several unpleasant surprises.

Across the north side of the plaza a number of test pits are being sunk. We are eager to ensure that we can estimate the depth of the topsoil prior to clearing it on a large scale. Not only is the soil friable and unpleasant, but it is of varying depth. We lost a lot of time last year trying to clear topsoil that turned out to be bottomless, whilst shallow areas were neglected. Hopefully we can try to locate such shallow areas quickly, and take advantage of the archaeology just centimetres below. Already the excavated pits are revealling mortar and tile destruction layers, which look promising.

A stamped brick was found in a test pit today.

A stamped brick was found in a test pit today.

The finds include stamped bricks with second century markings, and a good quanitity of large amphora fragments and other ceramics. The finds station is now well established, with a good deal of washing and sorting taking place. Now a good collection of fine glass rims, gaming counters and stamped pottery has been built up, which we are busy showing off to passing tourists. Thanks to Helen, Joselline and Bitung, a great deal of progress has been made. The other diggers are somewhat jealous, as they struggle to stay alert against a hot humid wind blowing in from the sea.

Luke Lavan    27/08/2009

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