Posted by: lukelavan | September 10, 2009

Deeper than predicted

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The ‘medieval’ section is now proving to be more confusing than ever, now that Kelly Madigan’s team have started digging the area. The shallow and poorly built medieval walls now appear to go very deep indeed and we are no longer sure of the date of the fill surrounding them, some of which pre-dates them, some of which post-dates them. In places the quite shallow, coming down onto a mortar floor after 30cm , whilst elsewhere the fill is as much as 1m thick, before coming down to a loose silty layer with few finds – we suspect it is the fill of another deep cistern. Alexandra Alvarez has revealed an unexpected doorway in the same area, with traces of a re-used lintel in the mortar. Clearly we are far from having a complete picture of the zone yet.

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The portico of the forum is still producing a large quantity of finds from the topsoil: so many in fact that we have had to decide to ‘sample’ – ie throw a lot of it out. We hope to collect a more meaningful collection from the sealed foundation layers underneath the portico floor. There have been some especially good glass finds from this area. However, otherwise the finds team have been frustrated by problems at the depot. We are still unable to access the small finds from last year, although we have only one week to go. This will create real problems for us if it continues unfortunately, as we will not be able to date key layers. However, there is still much to be positive about: Lloyd Bosworth has produced an impressive photo mosaic of the forum walls, with the help of Eric Fries, whilst Paolo Maranzana has classified spolia discovered in the paving area.

Luke Lavan 10/09/2009

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