Sunday, 21 June 2009

Day 9 - The Final Day!

A day spent in the blazing sun with both the core team and the students (and two volunteers, one of whom was celebrating his birthday) furiously finishing off. The drawn record of all of our trenches was completed during the morning prior to the unenviable but inevitable backfilling of them all and replacing the turf.

The phasing was completed and double checked in the ack-ack trench, in spite of the fact that one very senior archaeologist had a minor headache. In the other trenches experienced team members completed the final recording and with it this week's training of our very keen. enthusiastic and able students.

Our photographer Ali rounded off many hundreds of technical photographs taken this week with some establishing site shots and final images of the trenches from an elevated position, before recording the small finds with close-ups. These photographs, together with the drawn record, plans, maps, measurements and notes will together form the archive of the work carried out by us during our time at Eaglesfield Park.

In the afternoon the team managed to overcome a week's tiredness and we set about returning everything to the condition it weas in before we started. This meant putting all the earth back in the, by now, somewhat large and deep holes, and relaying the turf. A brilliant effort by young and slightly less young alike, together with a seemingly unending variety of jokes and quips meant this was achieved by about 5.00pm, which was a fantastic effort. Top marks to our excellent finds keeper Odette for bringing in a huge chocolate cake, pictured below, which was devoured by the hungry shovellers.

A huge thankyou to everyone who made this dig such a success from pre-planners, directors, volunteers and students to the wonderful local folk who have attended and chatted with us throughout.

From my bloggers perspective - this was the first UK based dig that I have been involved with from the initial ideas stage through to planning and actually undertaking and completing the work. At times it wasn't clear exactly how, or indeed whether at all, this would all come together and be successful. Chatting to team members and students during the week of digging itself it has become clear to me that the overall success of ventures like this depends on the bunch of people that end up in the mix, and how they interact and work together. I have to say in this respect the experience has been fantastic, and a big thankyou to everyone who made the time fly and the work such great fun.

What's next? Well, the blog won't end tonight. Over the next few days, weeks and months I will be blogging more about some of the spin-offs from the week, with articles on the finds themselves, excellent reports from Gabe (is that the right spelling? - sorry Gabe!), our oral historian of the stories he has been told, more images and other information about the development of the project as we grow. Keep checking back, or why not Follow or Subscribe to the blog for automatic updates. Please see the links at the top and bottom of the page.

Until next time.

Roger Ward

Some more images from yesterday

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