Day 7: Positive Parallels from Negative Features?

It was a wee bit colder this morning and some woollen hats made an appearance, with shorts in equal measure too (they breed them hardy in Moray). Usual smiles all around and an eagerness to get going suggested a nice and relaxing day off yesterday was had by all. We packed the wheelbarrows and trundled off down to our trenches in anticipation of another day investigating this wonderful (and increasingly enigmatic) site.

The view from the trenches today was mostly viewed through the medium of 6H pencil, measuring tapes and permatrace, as we recorded the trenches which were opened last week.

Trench A was cleaned and drawn, ready for an extension tomorrow for further investigations. Trench B was extended to the south to show a complete profile of the ditch, while trench C was drawn and prepared for another slot.

Trench D, the last trench to be opened last week is still very much a work in progress. The ditch was bottomed and cleaned beautifully in anticipation of becoming the subject of photogrammetry. An exciting and interesting feature popped up in section where the outer bank may have been. So, now In trench D- the plan is to plan! Trench D will be extended to the east over the area of the outer bank to glean as much information as we can in regards to the physical characteristics of the outer bank. Trench D (phase 2) will also commence tomorrow, as we backfill the existing trench and extend to the south to determine the full extent and characteristics of the remaining ditch and any related structures.

An information packed lunchtime talk on archaeological geophysics by Mary and Christine was very well received. This offered a brief history of the use of geophysical survey in an archaeological context, followed by an overview of the different types of survey that can be employed. The talk culminated in giving insight into the findings so far from Mary and Christine’s investigations on Cluny Hill. The archaeological supervisors listened, feeling encouraged that the geophysics team were also throwing up more questions than answers!

Later in the afternoon, energy, encouragement and bribery were sought through the traditional (and most important) archaeological method of food offerings; predominantly custard doughnuts and flapjacks (….this is the poshest excavation I have ever been to).

Today, a new trench was born. Trench ‘E’ was opened over an area identified to be of interest following geophysical investigations last week. Maybe we will have some interesting results to tell you tomorrow- watch this space!

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