Day 5 - Cleaning mud

Posted by Lynne - 21:22 on 18 July 2012

The main task for today was to get Trench 4 in the field cleared of the last of the plough soil and cleaned up for a photograph – this involved hoeing and trowelling back to remove any loose material which might obscure the colour differences in the archaeology. Our participants valiantly undertook this despite the wet conditions – ‘cleaning’ is very difficult when incessant rain is determined to turn everything to churned mud. Despite this they managed, and will be very pleased to know that the photographs taken to record the features they exposed have come out well and their efforts were not in vain. A linear feature which hopefully will turn out to be a road-side ditch was clearly visible and a very mixed area in the middle of the trench is looking ever more convincing as a churned up track-way. Now that the photograph has been taken these observations will be drawn and then we can excavate the features.


      Cleanng Trench 4                                       Trowelling Trench 3

In Trench 3 on the mound having already recorded the spread of stones we began to remove the darker area across the middle of the trench, taking soil samples as we went. These samples will later have water passed through them to float off any charred material, such as wood or grain, which may give us clues as to when and why it was in use. Whilst water will be very useful for processing the samples it is not much good when collecting them, and the rain today made it very difficult to tell the soils apart. This and general dampness of the diggers led us to stop excavating early today – hopefully after a day off to dry out tomorrow we (and the trenches) will be ready to continue the progress we have been making in unravelling the story of Foulis mound and roadway.

Your Comments

Comment by k burton at 17:10 on 19 July 2012.
great to see the progress.
Well done to all the dripping wet workers!

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Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH), The Goods Shed, The Old Station, Strathpeffer, Ross-Shire, Scotland IV14 9DH
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