Even though the excavation via the university ended last Friday, some of us were not able to stay away long from the site and returned to ‘fill the landscape’ for the Saturday open public day. The three of us arrived earlier than normal, since no coach was involved, Tracking up to the site too seemed strange, instead of 42 people walking up at different paces it was just us! At the site we were greeted by our site mascot Arwen and Gigi, James parked up just minutes after we started the walk, but caught up with us before we reached the site. The weather wasn’t that much different as the last days of the excavation (cold, windy and wet) which meant that before anything was done, we first had to have tea, it did not take long before we were assigned to trenches. Kerrie was to be taken over the wall to trench AK, since it was in need of some extra attention. Alison and I were sent ‘home’ to our trench in the barrow. Here the both of us were tasked to level out the top section of the trench, this was easier said than done. The nickname Alison, very fittingly, came up with was concrete corner… many remarks have been made regarding this layer, I can’t remember hearing anything nice about it, it has been philosophised that when the people crated the barrow they had a massive party after the creation of the barrow, which compacted the soil.
Whether the open day was a success or not we will not be able to tell, as soon as we disappeared into the trenches, we got so stuck in that we even had to be reminded when the tea breaks were. Despite the fact that it was a cold windy Saturday, all of us still did not want to leave the site when 4pm came around, there was even talk about coming back on the Sunday, however when we started to realise that we had been excavating for the last 6 days in a row, and were in desperate need of rest we decided to take it….
After two days of (some sort of) rest we returned back on site with a substantial group on Tuesday. Today however was a bit different, since only three of us were able to go to site, we went by car. The prospects of the weather already made us take on less layers of clothing, and more were removed before the walk to site was made. On site work was resumed as normal, the top section of the barrow trench needed to be cleaned and prepared for photography, site recording as well as section drawing. But as it goes in archaeology, for certain jobs, the conditions need to be perfect, which of course the hardly ever are. For three weeks we have been dreaming of sunshine, while feeling cold and getting wet from strange forms of rain… But now the sun is out and we are waiting for clouds to move in front of the sun so photographs without shadows can be taken, some people just can’t be pleased! While waiting for this cloud Alison and I moved on to the drawing of a section of the trench. Since section drawing is a tedious activity it takes up quite a lot of time, and before we even had gotten to the second stratigraphic layer we noticed it was already 4pm. All three of us decided it was time to have another break, Alison and I were working on the barrow section drawing while Emma had been working all day ‘across’ the wall on sections, all of us were starting having trouble defining the different soil colours (yes there are a huge amount off nuances to brown , grey and black…). We decided to continue working on the section tomorrow morning with fresh and rested eyes, also we have a bigger group coming up tomorrow, so hopefully we can get a lot of work done in nice and lovely weather with enough clouds to photograph the trenches… sorry some people just want it all!