July 17 2019

Kevin and Will decide to extend a larger test pit 3 as there were interesting artefacts found on the 16th. They start by measuring a section and cutting out the turf very neatly so they will be able to replace it.

Keiron Thexton starts to help. He found news of the dig on our page on the Festival of Archaeology site and volunteered to help. He has had some previous experience at archaeological digs on other sites, including Swarthmoor Hall and at Ravensglass in the area adjacent to the Roman bath house.

Daniel and Theo – with Trevor!

Year 8 students Theo Parkyn and Daniel Lafferty arrive – firstly for their photo call with us and then to take photographs themselves…even the wildlife appear to be watching!

The first layer of earth is revealed and the turf put to one side.

Then begins the slow and careful removal of the soil, the sieving and examination of the contents.

Daniel & Theo at work

As the layers progress, similar artefacts are discovered amongst what was probably the demolition that was deposited when the bungalows were demolished – – bricks, glass and tar macadam – possibly parts of a former road or one removed from Calgarth in the sixties? Several bricks have some text – Theo calls one he has cleaned ‘Aron’!

In the afternoon, the archaeologists are joined by Jamie Thomson and Joshua Lassey who also work incredibly hard, immediately cleaning and drying the samples. By this stage plastic aprons have been found – to avoid even more washing afterwards! In between they explore the field with metal detectors and mark possible finds on a drawing.

Students continue to call in to see the exhibition and watch the progress of the dig.

Some of the interesting artefacts in the afternoon include a desert fork, a cough medicine bottle top, a small piece of pencil lead, screwed up wrappers, part of a clay pipe, small pieces of wood, charcoal and possible evidence of paint on a sample. All probable remains of habitation deep below the surface and further down than the demolition stratification investigated in the morning.

Of particular interest is a small plastic red charm in the shape of a unicorn – later found to have been produced in the 1930s or 40s and possibly for a child’s pendant.

For a while rain stops play but towards the end of the afternoon there is further digging. The pit is far deeper and a very large boulder is exposed. It serves as a bucket stand as Kevin, Will and co continue to dig around the pit and remove a number of smaller rocks.