Finishing up

The dig is now finished and the trenches backfilled with stone and soil. All that remains to be done is the returfing which shouldn’t take too long now the rain has bedded everything in nicely for us. If you can help on Wednesday to just finish this off please let me know. I will be putting some of the photos from the dig on the web page as soon as I can.

We now have to wait for the environmental and finds analyses and dating but as soon as we get the report from Solstice we will post that up as well.

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Thursday 11th and Friday 12th

WE WILL NOT BE ON SITE TOMORROW (Friday) – the weather will be dreadful!
 
Today (Thursday) the digging and recording was completed and the trenches were filled in but the turf still needs replacing. We will look at the weather forecast and pick a day next week to finish off and I will send round an email to all diggers begging for help. If we can get enough people this should only take a couple of hours.
Please look out for the email and come along if you can.
WE WILL NOT BE ON SITE TOMORROW (Friday) – the weather will be dreadful!

Wednesday 10th October

Glorious weather today – if only it had been like this for the whole dig but this is Cumbria and that would be too much to hope for!

In Trench 1 a slot was dug through the trackway down to the natural surface to look at the construction. In Trench 2 the same was done through the bank to see how it was made. In Trench 2 a broken quern stone was found. This appears to have been broken during its manufacture as there do not seem to be any signs of wear so it was presumably discarded and used as building material.

Both trenches are being recorded and charcoal lifted from the hearth in Trench 1 for radiocarbon dating.

Tomorrow we will complete the recording of the trenches and then fill them in again. We need as much help as possible and hope to finish tomorrow ahead of the bad weather forecast for Friday. If you can put in a few hours to help then please come along.

Tuesday 9th October

A really good day – overcast but dry. Orton primary school have been on site. Two primary classes had a fabulous time with our archaeologists and had a chance to do their own bit of digging in Trench 2. Happy (and muddy) budding archaeologists returned to school for the afternoon, excited about the past.

In the afternoon Levens History Society and Sedbergh History Society both visited the site for a conducted tour.

We are now closing trenches once they are finished. Trench 3 is already backfilled and the other 2 will be closed down soon. The forecast for Friday is awful so we are trying to get as much done as possible before then. If you are down to dig or visit on Friday then please check your emails or back here on the blog for an update before travelling.

Monday 8th October

Another hard day in the trenches. Stronger winds than forecast collapsed the gazebos overnight but with less damage that we originally thought form the sight of them.

Trench 3, across the external bank, was completed, recorded and backfilled. Trench 2 was extended to look at one of the circular features in more detail and the central oval platform was further excavated. further trowelling in trench one cleaned more of the cobbled trackway and also parts of the trench outside the round structure.

The forecast for Friday and beyond is grim – gales and heavy rain – so we will try to complete and backfill trenches as we can.

Sunday 7th October

A blustery day and cold! The day’s activities have been mainly cleaning back further in the existing trenches and recording. In trenches 2 and 3 slots have been cleared through the archaeology to look at the construction of the bank in trench 3 and of the circular platform in the middle of trench 2.

Saturday 6th October

A splendid day after the wet of the previous 2 days. The extension to trench 1 has exposed a clearly cobbled track to the enclosure, which cuts the banks and is possibly a late addition to the site (Roman?). The roundhouse in trench 1 is very clear now and the small entrance to that is exposed. There is a small hearth or patch of charcoal inside which should provide good dating evidence. I

The new trench 3 has exposed more of the boundary bank above trench 2. Check out the photos on our instagram site @lunesdale

 

Friday update 10.30am

Ok the few diggers currently on-site have tried to get up to the trenches and the decision has been made that the site is now very unsafe and digging has been called off for today – if you haven’t yet set out then don’t.
If you are on rota for the next few days then please note that the parking area we have been using for 4 wheeled drives is also waterlogged and very unsafe for parking. Even 4 -wheelers were skidding badly today and churning up the field. No cars will be able to park on site until further notice. Parking will be either on the road at Low Borrowbridge or on the left hand verge down at the farm with a short walk from either.

Friday 5th

The weather is dreadful again and the site very wet. The dig will close today at lunchtime. If you were planning to dig today and haven’t yet set out then stay in the dry at home.

The forecast for tomorrow and beyond is much better and digging will go ahead as planned (we hope).

Thursday 4th October

Well – what a wet day. We were in driving cloud all day – the really wetting sort. However good progress was made deturfing a new trench 3 and extending trench 1. Howgill and Firbank WI visited in the morning for a tour. The weather deteriorated further by lunch time and sadly the site became very slippery in the wet. The afternoon digging was called off and the visit by Levens History Society had to be cancelled. There was just too much risk of slipping on the steep grass and by then we were soaked to the skin. The weather looks set to improve over the next few days and the archaeologists assure us that digging will continue tomorrow.

If there is any change to that I will post here but decisions are unlikely to be made before we reach the site in the morning.