Web address

Click on http://manor-lodge.dept.shef.ac.uk for more information about the dig, including images, history, and fieldwork findings.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Day 12: Tuesday the 28th of June

Day 12: bumper finds special!

Carved stone in trench 19

Worked shell - perhaps a decorative inset for a cutlery handle (we know that outworkers were working here making bone handles for the cutlery industry)

A stone mullion, used as a divider in a window frame
An excellent example of a knurr ball from the game knurr and spell (see last year's blog entry for the game's rules, and a demonstration of how to play)

Find of the day: a used musket ball from trench 20

Today also bore witness to innovation in finds processing techniques:

This bottle had been soaking for days in a vain attempt
to remove the dirt from inside ...
... until Jenny ingeniously lashed a cotton bud to a skewer, and cleaning was successfully completed!

... and a revolution in archaeological-finds-based modern art:

Jenny's collage - on loan from the Guggenheim
Meanwhile, progress in Alvaro's trench 20 was significant but ... messy.

Tom was knee deep in clay ...

... and was considering that the simplest option may be to stay the night.

Brian was reducing the section between the two excavated areas
Christian was reducing slightly further up the trench

Whilst the sheer volume of excavated spoil was allowing Alvaro to realise his true calling in life ...

... as architectural director of the world's first spoil dune.
Also, in the basement, Lily was taking charge of the electronic recording of finds:

We also have the second round of our interviews with the new students:

Introducing ...

Catherine is a 1st year on the BA in Classical and Historical Archaeology at Sheffield.
Why did you chose manor lodge?

I wanted to do something in Sheffield, and this one seemed interesting.

What is your ultimate archaeological ambition?

To make a groundbreaking discovery that changes the way people think about archaeology and the world. I don't think it's a big ask.

No seems reasonable. And if you could dig anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

Somewhere more exotic!

Is that a euphemism for somewhere with better weather?

Nat is in his second year of the BA in Archaeology at Sheffield. 
Why have you ended up at the lodge this year?

I came last year and really enjoyed it. I figured I would know the site already, and I need more experience, as I'm considering doing the MA at Sheffield.

A fine choice. Do you have an archaeological role model?

Vere Gordon Childe, definitely. He's basically the father of archaeology. The breadth of his work is incredible.

What is your top archaeological ambition?

To dig up a neanderthal! And to dig in Ithaca, the birthplace of Odysseus. I loved the Odyssey, so that would be really cool. 
Laura is a second year archaeology student at Sheffield.
Why did you chose manor lodge?

I was going to do it last year, but in the end I was only able to visit, and do a tour of the turret house. I really liked it so I wanted to come back and do the excavation.

Do you have an archaeological role model?

Paul Petit. He got me interested in anthropology and human evolution, which led to me switching from classical to archaeological science.

What's been your best archaeological experience?

When I was young, I was helping my grandparents to re-do the garden. We were digging it up, and I found a time capsule, buried around the time of the second world war. It had teddy bear and a photograph inside, and it turned out to be a distant relative of my grandma. I still have the teddy!

Alex is a 1st year BSc archaeology student in Sheffield.
Alex, you're sitting slightly away from the pack. Dangerous that, makes it easier for a predatory interviewer to pick you off. Can I ask why you chose manor lodge?

It's perfect because the timing fits with the other dig I also wanted to do in Binchester in July.

In an ideal world, where would you excavate?

Probably somewhere in the Mediterranean. I'm interested in excavating a neolithic or palaeolithic site.

If you could find anything at manor lodge, what would it be?

Probably a human skeleton. It's a bit morbid, but it might be exciting.

Kate is a first year at Sheffield
Kate, what are you studying at Sheffield?

[pauses] Alex, what are we studying? 

Alex: BSc Archaeology!

That's it!

Excellent. And why manor lodge?

Because of the suggestion of a hunting lodge. I'm interested in bones, so I was keen on the prospect of finding lots here.

Do you have an archaeological role model?

Paul petit. Because he teaches about evolution, which I'm really interested in, and has good delivery when he lectures. Also he does a good walk!

I'll ask him to show me. Where in the world would you most like to excavate?

Somewhere in East Africa, like Ethiopia, to help investigate the origins of man.

Lauren is a 1st year on the BA in Archaeology
Lauren, any particular reason why you've chosen manor lodge?

No, it was one of the two options and I preferred it.

If you could find anything at manor lodge, what would it be?

Something I haven't already found!

Excellent answer. Good luck! If you could dig anywhere on the planet, where would it be?

France or Spain, because I speak the languages!

Thanks once again to everyone for putting up with my disorganised interview technique ... any stragglers and newcomers will be interviewed when possible!

And finally ...

Today's collectible top trump is: Vicky Crewe, assistant site director:

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