Day 9

22 Aug

It’s day 2 of family fun at #caistor and Gilbert the Samian pot man is replaced by Nigel the Roman cavalry man. Nigel is without his horse today or strictly speaking without his pony (as the Roman cavalry used ponies) as his most recent pony has recently retired. He is excellent value and a font of knowledge and spends the day tirelessly letting children put on helmets and weaponry. It’s a slightly cooler day so visitor numbers are up. John mans the kids’ dig to great effect and manages to stop the assembled tots stabbing each other with trowels. Andrew and Nat continue with their historically questionable Welsh war cries and the cultural enrichment of the public is thus ensured.

In the trenches, ditches are being revealed and rather nice bits of Samian pottery are being revealed, including one with an amphitheatre scene with a lion seemingly about to eat an unfortunate individual. We’ll get a picture up in the next day or so. Rather more unusually we also have a piece of 1st century marbled Samian, a very rare find in Roman Britain, spotted by Gilbert the Samian man as he was looking at the finds drying in their trays. We’ll use these finds to entice the lovely Gwladys (who studies our Samian) to come down and see us.

The ditches trench (courtesy of Mike Page). The white lines represent the middle of the ditches as seen on the geophysics and aerial photos

For those of you who were disappointed by the rather non-descript photo of the sunken featured building, we can now offer you a much better one courtesy of Mike Page who once again has taken to the skies to document our trenches. The SFB shows up with wonderful clarity as do the white lines that guide onlookers to our ditches.

Mike Page’s splendid picture of the sunken featured building

Kathryn in the small finds tent is getting increasingly frustrated by the team’s inability to find any notable objects (or even any unidentifiable metal blobs) and indeed the contrast between the archaeology inside the walled town (where we dug in 2010 and 2011) and outside the walled town is striking. There was clearly very intensive occupation in the walled town in the late Roman period (which most of our stuff dates to). The Dear Leader mumbles the usual stuff about the value of negative evidence but Kathryn is not convinced.

Big push on swords needed, otherwise there’ll be a fire sale in the last week.

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