It’s Coming Home! Halfway through the 2018 season!

It's Coming Home!

Halfway through the 2018 season!

Our American students and volunteers celebrating the 4th of July with our make do 'fireworks'.

Moving into our working week, the archaeologists routine was jolted slightly by a change in the daily schedule, thanks to the British weather’s continual attempts to melt the usually chilly north-west. Starting now at 8:45am, a few tired grumbles could be heard around the breakfast tables, plus a couple of late starters who forgot to change their alarms. 

Roman Coin found in the upper northern part of the trench.

It’s Coming Home!

As a lucky coincidence our excavations have coincided with the 2018 FIFA world cup. In glorious style many of our British team members and their new buddies rejoiced in the victory no one saw coming! England winning against Columbia in penalties.

It’s Coming Home!

Some of the team in the south using a dumpy level to record the height of a context.

After a hard day’s work, the university excavation team retired to the River Ribble and Village Hall, and out came the evening crew. We were lucky enough to have the local Ribchester Cubs and Beavers come in and under the guidance of our experienced supervisor ‘Rusty’ AKA Adam, helped excavate the Thomas May trenches.

Rusty AKA Adam helping lead the Cubs and Beavers in excavation the northern trench section.

With a trip up to Hadrian’s Wall happening on Thursday, students are expanding their understanding of the archaeology of Roman Britain. With many students doing interest-led projects for their final assessments, this will provide a good opportunity to see trends and traditions further afield than just the Bremetenacum at Ribchester. 

Our week three started with bang! With American 4th of July celebrations landing on a working day we decided to join in on American fun and fanfare slightly early, on the 2nd! With lessons in S’mores (yes, real Graham crackers too), ‘fireworks’, a BBQ cookout, all topped off by a rendition of Hamilton the musical, our taste of American festivities was complete. 

In true British style, talk of the weather has become a mainstay for the excavation team. It’s not uncommon to hear faces smeared with sunscreen and dirt, exclaim how “done” they are with the heat. The luckiest members of the excavation team retreat to the far northern reaches of the trench (so far north its ‘off the grid’) where shady spots deep in the Roman ditches, and Victorian Trenches, are plentiful. 

One of the student archaeologists hiding from the sun in the Victorian era trench.

As per usual our Tuesday featured a site tour by our charismatic excavation lead Dr Duncan Sayer, who has encouraged us to continue considering the complex relationships between features and their stratigraphy throughout the whole site. Some of the areas of interest touched upon included the ongoing finds of 100+ hobnails still in the shape of shoes, a furniture stud from a ‘well’-like feature, plus a lovely Roman coin. 

Dr Duncan Sayer providing a site tour of the northern part of the trench, where a myriad of hobnails have been found.

On Wednesday afternoon students were given an expert talk from Peter Webster. Peter excavated at Ribchester in the 1970s and shared his keen knowledge on Roman pottery and how they changed forms throughout the different stages of the Roman empire in Britain. 

Students listening to Peter Webster explore the wide world of Roman pottery.