And the show goes on…

So, the students left three weeks ago today and it’s hard to believe that we’re almost done with this excavation season. I thought I’d update the students and our followers to let them know how much further we’ve gotten. Right after you all left we had a terrible rain storm (big surprise) and the field was finally saturated and unworkable. However, after a week away from the trench we had a dry week and we got back into the North Field.

Staylo, Drew, Lauren and Mike–you guys left the early ditch system on the very western side of the trench pretty well in hand, but we finally found the baulk between the two ditches about 2 meters below the surface and the very bottom a ways further down. We found all the ditch edges, got a very nice profile of the whole system and promptly had the baulk fall from away from the Victorian drain. Here’s what the profile of the ditch looks like now:

Our trench looking west on the early ditch system

So when the baulk came down in one of the all-too-common torrential floods of the season, the entirety of the Victorian drain’s contents began running into our trench. You can see it in the top right corner of the picture above. At first the Victorian drain was fabulous, lovingly uncovered by Sarah VP and Rachael on one end and Mike on another, it shuttled all the water in one end of our trench and out the other through a stone lined drain. Then the rain and the baulk collapse…. Alex and I got very creative and came up with this fabulous solution to water movement that you see below. We’re in the process of retraining for a career in water control engineering ;).

Here’s the solution when a Victorian drain dumps gallons of water per hour into your archaeological trench.

Paulina and Alicia–You guys were also down this ditch, as you well remember, but working closer to where the drain was being uncovered that was at the bottom corner of the later 3rd century ditch. Here’s what that looks like now…

Here’s the drain that was put on the corner of the 3rd cent. ditch that cut out that early ditch system, probably to help carry water and waste around the corner of the ditch and off the scarp of the hill to the east.

We finally got seriously into the 3rd century ditch on the eastern side of the ditch. Yes, this is precisely where we thought we’d get a good look at the whole profile of the early ditch system without a Victorian drain in the way, but instead we found an enormous ditch filled in the 270s AD. Naturally…

The 3rd century ditch is in the foreground here with the Victorian drain between Jane and Ronan cutting off our view straight through to the early ditch system.

Okay, one more thing of interest for you all. Remember when we went to the Roman fort at Ambleside on that terrific day in the Lake District? Alex and I went back for the weekend to hike in the Lakes and we decided we would climb to the top of the crag above the fort. Here’s the fabulous view of the fort in its landscape at the northern tip of Lake Windermere. Pretty impressive, eh?

The fort is just below that ‘thumb’ of land that sticks into Lake Windermere. To the right is the start of the pass that goes up to the fabulous fort at Hardknott.

And just because we know you miss us–here we are on that crag above Ambleside fort. We miss you all too!!

5 thoughts on “And the show goes on…

  1. Wow, you guys are really masters of all trades! That ditch and the water control engineering are truly impressive. Have a safe trip back!

  2. I’m hopelessly confused about all these ditches, but it looks like you’ve made enormous progress this season. Looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back!

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