Day 10: Digging in the dark

Today was WET, and over on the cold side of the hill, under the thick beech canopy, it was DARK. Digging with a 215 lumens head torch in the middle of a June day was not an experience I had anticipated.

Trench E is the trench that keeps on giving, which would be fantastic, if we didn’t have to leave tomorrow. Frustratingly, we have only scratched the surface (quite literally) of what it has to offer and I for one am beginning a campaign for an open area excavation next year. Taking off a layer of paving this morning led us down to a more extensive area underneath and, taken together with numerous fire cracked stones, some slag and a stonking geophysical anomaly, we have a suspicion that we are nibbling at the edges of a furnace. It appears likely that this could have had several phases of use. To the north we have a bank, a ditch under the bank, some cobbles, some tips, some relationships that make no sense… and lots of confusion.

Away from the complexities of Trench E, Leanne continued her sterling work in Trench D, with the identification of another large stakehole around 60 cm from the first. These were both found on the bank situated downslope of the ditch and could indicate the presence of a wooden palisade. Another tantalising taster of what could be to come!

Elsewhere on the hill,  two drowned rats with drawing boards were spotted, on further questioning, these were identified as John and Christine who were doing a fine job battling with the elements to get Trench A wrapped up and recorded. John (ably assisted by Christine) also gave a fine lunch time talk on Forres, Moray and Scotland in their medieval context.

Tomorrow we will  be wrapping everything up on site but it seems that Cluny Hill still holds many more secrets. From ditches, to banks, palisades, paving, cobbles, metal working and much more, the wooded hill on the edge of the burgh has given us so much more than we ever expected…

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