Week two at Ribchester has begun with unseasonably warm temperatures. Remember we are in Lancashire, where it is rarely this hot and all students regardless of origin are struggling with the weather. Steps were taken to beat the heat including the dispersal of ice lollies amongst the students. Additionally, a lecture by Don O’Mera, the sites archaeobotanist for the duration of the dig, provided a much needed respite from the oppressive heat.
Each of the students are beginning to find their feet, developing their excavation skills and knowledge. Each team can be seen working dynamically as a group, becoming faster and more confident with planning, excavating and recording finds. We have had 317 number of visitors who have enjoyed learning about both the site and all the students who have travelled to excavate it.
Students are beginning to ask questions about the sub-areas of the trench, including overall function of the site and purpose of individual structures. There has been a marked improvement in planning skills and context sheets are being filled with a greater degree of accuracy than before.
Three school groups who visited the dig on Tuesday, received tours of the granary and the excavation site from Jim. The children were very well behaved, and answered various questions, such as what did the Romans bring with them to Britain? The children visited Ribchester Museum and had lunch in the Village Hall.
In the mid-section of the trench, further work has been done to excavate over fifty hobnails. This was an extremely significant find as these were found in the shape of a shoe. This is the clearest outline of a shoe that we have found on site so far. Each nail has been carefully excavated and recorded for further analysis.
Interpretations of trench areas are changing as excavation continues. A pit in the south of the trench is thought to be a well, and a bead was found in this area. In the north of the trench, a black area of soil has been identified and we are debating whether this may be part of the remains of the earlier wooden fort. More small finds are being recovered from the guardhouse, including animal bone.
Work carries on throughout the site, despite the hot weather. Just to remind everyone we run tours of the site between 11am and 5.30pm on Tuesdays to Sundays.