Wednesday 6th August, 2008
Afterwards we backfilled the pit and restored the garden back to its original condition. This small scale pioneer session has helped us to test our methods and and played an important part in our planning for the garden archaeology campaign as a whole. Finds were mostly modern but there were some residual sherds of medieval pot. Such findings may be statistically significant when the results of many test-pits are analysed together.
Post-excavation photo, prior to backfilling
After our morning of fame with Radio Oxford, we got back to our garden test pit. Today was dedicated to drawing and recording with each member taking turns to measure and draw in a useful training session.
Tuesday 5th August, 2008
We soon managed to reach the base of the first test pit at nearly one metre down, after removal of 5 spits. Valuable insights into the ground formation levels and potential for archaeology have been gained today. The picture above shows the natural silty sand into which some features of unknown date have been cut.
An initial slow start was caused by blocked sieves and large spoil heaps. However we changed the size of the sieve and this speeded up the process. The test pit was taken down in a series of spits of 20 cms each. Here is the pit after removal of 3 spits, and still in modern topsoil deposits.
Monday 4th August, 2008
Unlike in the main trenches we aim to sieve all of our spoil which will hopefully yield many interesting finds. There's always more spoil than you think. Here the team create the beginnings of what will be a rather large heap!
Stringing out the trench. We have measured out an area of 1 x 1.5m.
The new team assemble at the first trench (in a garden on the lower north side of the High Street). This will serve both as a training trench and to iron out any potential problems before the main campaign begins later this year.
Taking tools from the Museum to the site. Who needs steam power when you have such an intrepid team as this?