Community Dig News (Week 3)

Day 13 – 9 October. A reduced workforce finishes recording features in Trench 2 and more finds are made in Trenches 5 and 6.

Severn Valley ware, black burnished ware and a Samian tankard base recovered from Trench 2

Severn Valley ware, black burnished ware and a Samian tankard base recovered from Trench 2

Tom Cochrane holds a black Malvernian pot dug out of Trench 2

Tom Cochrane holds a black Malvernian pot dug out of Trench 2

Segments of up to seven pots recovered from a ditch in Trench 6

Segments of up to seven pots recovered from a ditch in Trench 6

Janey Green draws a cobbled feature in Trench 6

Janey Green draws a cobbled feature in Trench 6

Rob Horey and Juliet Brown match a soil sample in Trench 5 with the colour chart

Rob Horey and Juliet Brown match a soil sample in Trench 5 with the colour chart

Day 14 – 10 October. Trench 5 reveals a section of pebbled floor with iron slag debris fused to it, which Derek Hurst thinks may indicate part of a Roman smithy. Trench 6 continues to produce pottery, including several segments of a small Severn Valley ware pot. Cleaning of finds from Trench 2 continues.

Rob Horey exposes an area below the pebbled floor of what may have been a Roman smithy

Rob Horey exposes an area below the pebbled floor of what may have been a Roman smithy

Janey Green reassembles three sections of pot recovered from Trench 6

Janey Green reassembles three sections of pot recovered from Trench 6

Severn Valley ware pottery from Trench 2

Severn Valley ware pottery from Trench 2

Black burnished ware fragments from Trench 2

Black burnished ware fragments from Trench 2

Day 15 – 12 October. Rain washes out any activity on the 11th, so work continues the following day after bailing out waterlogged pits. Large quantities of iron clinker emerge from both trenches, reinforcing the view that this was an industrial site in Roman times. WI teas make a welcome break.

Waterlogged pits in Trench 6

Waterlogged pits in Trench 6

David Parker and Roz Ditchfield at work in Trench 6

David Parker and Roz Ditchfield at work in Trench 6

Paul Richardson retrieves a large piece of mortarium rim from a pit in Trench 5

Paul Richardson retrieves a large piece of mortarium rim from a pit in Trench 5

Penny Tennant-Thomas serves chocolate cake to hungry volunteer diggers during a WI tea break

Penny Tennant-Thomas serves chocolate cake to hungry volunteer diggers during a WI tea break

Day 16 – 15 October. The last day of the Hanley community dig was a mix of sunshine and showers brought to a fitting conclusion by a spectacular rainbow over the site. Over the course of the dig, around 60 volunteers worked hard, often in very muddy conditions, learnt much about the job of being an archaeologist, found hundreds of pieces of Roman pottery and iron-working slag, unearthed ancient tracks, ditches, gullies and the floor of a possible smithy workshop, and helped cast light on the activities of the Romano-British people living 1800-2000 years ago near a crossing of the River Severn at what is now Quay Lane in Hanley Castle. The archaeologists will spend the next few months analysing the bags of finds, soil samples and records in order to produce a report on what they think the dig has revealed about the site. Watch this space.

A large piece of black burnished ware is exposed in a section of Trench 4

A large piece of black burnished ware is exposed in a section of Trench 4

Large pieces of clinker recovered from Trench 5

Large pieces of clinker recovered from Trench 5

Janey Green initiates a reluctant Dave Read into the mysteries of recording features

Janey Green initiates a reluctant Dave Read into the mysteries of recording features

Richard Bradley supervises labelling and recording by David Parker and Jane Hennessy

Richard Bradley supervises labelling and recording by David Parker and Jane Hennessy

A rainbow provides a fitting end to the Hanley community dig

A rainbow provides a fitting end to the Hanley community dig

For news of Week 1 click here.

For news of Week 2 click here.

Click on any of the above pictures to view a larger version or watch on the slideshow below.

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