From 7th to 19th of this month I have managed to schedule an almost unbroken fortnight of archaeology for myself. The first dig is in Greenwich park, where we are resuming the search for the old Keeper’s Cottage which we (that is to say Graham Keevill in association with Royal Parks and any volunteer diggers who cared to lend a hand) started in 2010. It now seems that what we found then were outbuildings, sheds byres etc. Graham has recently conducted a geophysical survey which suggests the actual cottage was further up the hill. Today we started opening trenches and one of them had a very nice feature indeed, a pump for water for the animals kept in the sheds. It is surrounded by big paving slabs and looks like this. The ladies working on the feature had a nice find: a spoon with a maker’s mark, Just the kind of find which brings you close to the people who once inhabited the site.
Meanwhile, some of us were excavating a trench which the geophysical survey indicated would contain a feature, but which eludes us so far. We probably need to go further down, but the dusty pebbly soil of Greenwich Park makes stratigraphy elusive to say the least. So tomorrow will probably be more of the same, until we get down far enough to find something. Well that’s the theory. Weather was a mixed bag, enough sun to have me reaching for the sunblock and regretting I hadn’t any loose change when I saw the advertisement for Ice Cream, but later on enough rain to soak through both the tops I was wearing. We are hoping there will be more rain tonight as this will make the trench easier to dig tomorrow. At the end of the day Michael Loughnane and his colleague from Royal Parks came along to see how we were getting on. Michael was around for the first dig, and as ever on such occasions it was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
This blog may seem brief, but I wasn’t able to start until half way through the day, hopefully with a full day in the Park tomorrow there will be more to report!