It has been awhile since we have updated you on the progress of the excavations at the hillfort. There has been a lot of earth moving and stone moving. We have defined the three ramparts, where the outer two appear to be composed largely of earth and stone. The innermost rampart has large stone (quarried bedrock) facing - with the N face completely or deliberately collapsed. Within the innermost rampart the spread of large stone that defined only one side of the trench was interpreted as a possible structure. In order to get a better picture of what was going on we added an extension to this area and on initial cleaning the stones looked to be in a circular pile - but today the interpretation is back to uncertain (that's the nature of archaeology). Nonetheless, as Colette was cleaning over these stones today she found a circular shale/cannel coal object - perhaps the rough out for a piece of jewellery!
View of possible structure and extension
Colette's cannel coal/shale object
Hi, I’m Nicola from Glasgow University and I’m working in Trench 5A. Today, at last the sun was shining, the sunscreen was on and it was a glorious day here at Forteviot with no rain. Trench 5a was busy with the planning and excavation of various slots through the inner and outer ditches of our double ditched feature, the deepest of which I’ve been working on for what seems like forever.
Slot 1 of the outer ditch, nearly 1m deep.
We’ve been able to get into the centre of the enclosure now that parts of the baulk have been removed, no treasure yet but we live in hope. We did have a nice piece of metal, possibly Roman lead that came out of the inner ditch this afternoon. This was found by one of the volunteers on her first day, some people have all the luck!
Other highlights of the day include being buzzed by the remote control hovering camera (boys and their toys) and of course the fact that today, being Friday, was PIEDAY! Unfortunately the doughnuts did lead to an invasion by the wasp army which in turn caused an overenthusiastic spraying of the Jungle Formula from some quarters, we’re lucky we can all still breathe!
Today in trench 5B, people were mostly drawing up the cross sections of the features that they have been excavating, which resulted in an absence of drawing materials and sanity (standard!)
Vivienne started the day rather upset as despite starting to excavate the other side of her pit feature yesterday, she was told this morning that she had to wait a while for some geophysical testing to be done on it, so she has to move on to another feature in the meantime. Gutted!
Drew had to move back to his feature, as although it was previously dismissed as nothing, the DELIGHTFUL weather conditions today (not actually sarcastic WOOHOO!) made visible something which appears to be a posthole. à
Charlie has found a flat working stone with circular holes on either side, which Dene, Gordon and Kenny have deemed “the greatest thing we have ever found on site”, but we weren’t sure whether or not they were trying to be funny or not! à
On top of all this excitement, which we all thought couldn’t get any better, there were a couple of technicians operating a remote controlled helicopter-camera over our trench today. Don’t lie, you want one for Christmas too...
I’ll leave you with this riddle: how many archaeologists does it take to retrieve a pencil?
That’s all for today lads! This groundbreaking (that’s right, I went there) news came to you today from Ailsa J xx