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Sunday, June 21, 2015

June 16 Day 3 Maryport Second day on the dig.

Up at 7 and off to the cottages for breakfast which consisted of a bowl of muesli, a plum and coffee. It was fine for today. I've got a sandwich and an apple and a piece of cheese for lunch, better than yesterday. We were on site by 8:30. Weather is a little cool likely 15 and breezy.

We started where we had left off yesterday. I estimate the site is 150 feet x 60 feet and we had done about 6% so far. This morning we worked from 8:30 to 10:30 then took a tea break for 45 minutes. I ate my lunch and then was able to connect to my email in the Senhouse Museum. I had paid for an annual membership (10 pounds) before going over so I can go in whenever I wish.

We have lunch sitting in a compound outside a large storage container where all the tools we use are kept locked overnight. These include wheelbarrows, shovels, spades, pick axes, buckets, kneelers, surveying equipment, trowels and scoops for removing   dirt. You will notice the clothing being worn which indicates just how cool it is. I wouldn't be surprised if it is only 10-12 with the wind chill. We spend most of our time low to the ground which has a moderating effect.
We worked again until 12:30 til lunch and after an hour break were back on site from 1:30-4:15.

Our process involves kneeling down and scraping a trowel across the topsoil. That is then accumulated and put on a small shovel like a coal shovel. From there it is put in a bucket and when the bucket is full it is emptied into a wheelbarrow. When that is full the spoils as they are called are wheeled to an edge of the site and dumped there.  All we had found so far were a few pieces of modern pottery.
Small Pottery Shard
One fellow does scour the site and removed soil with a metal detector and has discovered a few items including coins which may be of interest. We have probably cleared 35% of the ultimate site so far and Tony the chief archaeologist says we are doing great. So far the backhoe has uncovered 3/4 of the site. All our gear gets packed up wheeled down to the containers and secured for the night.

I travelled back to the Ship with Bill but since it doesn't open until 6:30 and the Cod Father's isn't open on Tuesday I walked down to the Surf Bar and ordered fish and chips, a salad and a pint of Atlantic Ale. Up to the cottages at 6:50 where they were just starting to eat. It takes a long time and super organization to cook for a large group. We arrived at the Senhouse Museum at 7:30 where we had another lecture this time by Dr. Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott. They covered the site excavations from 2011 to today and the rationale behind it. Many altar stones were found in 1870 and reside at the museum. In 1880 a large Roman Temple was excavated and the work carried on since has added to the knowledge gained then and expanded the scope of are to be examined. I won't put a lot of detail here but those who are interested can view the following website:
The lecture was attended by our whole team and an equal number from the public so it shows a good deal of local interest. I did nod off occasionally but again maintained an interested facade. Barry never would have made it through.

I was back in my room by 9 and read until 10 and then off to sleep the sleep of the dead or just extremely tired.

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