MG updates on the first day of the 2013 season:
We began opening the trench ( deary me... it is a big trench...) on Friday with Gordon sending me regular texts to keep me updated as I tried to concentrate back in Chester. Today I started at 7am with the digger driver whilst Gordon and Oskar loaded up in Aberdeen with our Aberdeen archaeology students and a lot of shiny new equipment and headed to site. Everyone was on site by 11am and cleaning back started after lunch. We've got these amazing new tools (they have a Swedish name that I cannot pronounce or spell), which make cleaning amazingly fast. With a team of 6 we've already managed to clean most of our massive trench in 1/2 a day. Tomorrow will be mostly trowelling and hopefully pre-ex planning.
The site looks great - we are in a field where an aerial photograph shows two square enclosures. The bigger one is about 20m across and the smaller one about 16m across. These show up as quite substantial ditches. We also appear to have features inside and outside the enclosures. Some of these at the moment look they might be potential ring ditches - these can turn out to be buildings of almost any date from the Bronze to the Iron Age. We've got quite a few burnt features, too; things that look like pits or post-holes. It is all very early days.
It's turned into a fair evening with Tap o' Noth visible from my window. No picture yet today for the blog. We were going to put up one of Oskar's infamous kite aerial photographs, but there was a slight mishap that involved the kite escaping (with the camera) and a tree - I'm sure we'll find it soon!
Our team has had a bit of sad news today that we've lost one of our favourite REAP team members. A terrible shock and a reminder life isn't fair even when you are one of the good ones. We'll just have to make sure that we have a season worthy to dedicate in his honour.