Update from the trenches

August 25, 2015 7:17 pm 0 comments

Digging continues apace! In Area P we are steadily removing plaster floors from Buildings 20 and 21. This is painstaking work as the floors are rarely continuous and sometimes there are areas where one floor might be a thin wash and it can be difficult to separate from that underlying it.  Nat can bee seen above removing a stubborn hearth from Building 20. In Building 21 the hearth area saw several remodellings in which thick layers of plaster were laid to build up the floor around the hearth.  Satisfyingly this involves the removal of quite thick plaster deposits, though as shown by Kris’s reactions here following the repeated layers of plaster can be mind bending!  A probable grave cut through the floor of Building 21 proved to be empty of a burial, it had no floor sealing it, but human remains were scattered through the upper fill suggesting that perhaps the burial had been opened at the end of the life of the building.


In Area M, the supervisor Maxime has been wrestling with a series of grave cuts into the midden deposits. This is tricky excavation as edges of the graves are difficult to trace in soft midden fills, but he has successfully disentangled a sequence of burials. These have included burials with grave goods, including ochre, a large stone polisher, and beads near various points of the body. And as ever digging in M proves to be a new experience for most and disastrous for footwear.


In Area J, Jill and her teams of diggers have continued to work in this new trench, braving the heat and sun. They have found traces of buildings, with some floors in which were a sequence of well-constructed hearths. They have also been excavating a burial, a large pit probably post-dating the Neolithic, but nevertheless full of interesting decorated stones and bead fragments, amongst other finds.


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