Active on three fronts: extending the trench at the base of the east
terrace, still drawing cobbles and moving an old spoil heap.
Odd days in June
helped us prepare for our next extended period of excavation in early
July. We were particularly fortunate in being able to welcome
several new volunteers who had youth and energy on their side so not
only could we progress the lengthy trench at the foot of the east
terrace but also clear the ground and dig away the silts on the next
area to be dug adjacent to the House of Diversion.
We were pretty confident that there would be a wall supporting
the lowest level of terracing but, as ever, distinguishing the wall
from the rubble accompanying it was not easy. Meanwhile further down
the trench fairly recent drains put in appearance that begged the
question: why was so much effort put in to draining this part of the
It always helps when there's a lot of dirt to shift to
have plenty of willing, or not so-willing hands, and we tried to do
a bit of heavy lifting each day before moving folks on to more
interesting work. The scene up at finds at break time shows we had a
pretty full house.
Illustrating the saying 'many hands make light work' we have a squad
busy uncovering a slice of one of the early twentieth century paths
that criss-cross the area.
Down on the area next to the House of Diversion we were puzzled by
the presence of pot and tile and wine bottle quite high up in what
we had been thinking of as the fill of the surrounding moat. It
meant we had to go quite carefully in clearing an area that
initially we thought we would be spading away, it all takes time.
Meanwhile back to the great east terrace and the lower wall really
begins to take shape... but what have we here? is it a buttress, the
base of some steps or a realignment of the wall? I guess we will
have to widen the trench to find out... at some point.
As we continually emphasize, many of the best finds are made during
the washing process, here we are examining in detail the stem of a
beautiful Venetian glass goblet whilst the chaps get stuck in to
... and then it rained so we put up a cover and then it dried out
and we were able to define the limits of the rubble fill of
the moat and the boundary with the surrouning clayey silt that was
starting to pose some tricky questions about our whole
interpretation of what's been going on here...