Digging, digging

Kristen uses a Munsell colour chart to check soil colour
Kristen Mann uses a Munsell colour chart to check soil colour © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
On Wednesday, there was heavy rain, so work on site was cancelled. This meant Wednesday was this week’s day off, and those of the team who remain will have to work on Sunday.

The team has been excavating two test trenches for about a week now. Progress is slow because the archaeologists are being careful to document the process carefully, noting changes in soil colour and condition, stone and rock placement, etc, as they go slowly down, level by level.

In particular the extensive root systems in the soil are making work slow and difficult.

The roots cannot just be pulled out in case they are embedded in important structural fabric which may be dislodged or, worse, damaged or destroyed, if the roots are pulled up.

Roots in one of the test trenches
Roots in one of the test trenches; they have to be cut back bit by bit, and the soil around them trowelled away. It makes the work painfully slow. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek

The pressure is on, as there are now only a few days left in which we are able to excavate during this season. The last day when work on site is possible is next Tuesday, 27 November.

The following images provide a glimpse of the work done in the last few days.

Ivana Vetta consults with Professor Meg Miller about progress on test trench 2
Ivana Vetta consults with Professor Meg Miller about progress on test trench 2 © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Kristen Mann consults with Dr Lesley Beaumont about progress on test trench 1
Kristen Mann consults with Dr Lesley Beaumont about progress on test trench 1 © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
The test trench 2 team hard at it
The test trench 2 team hard at it; from left, Ivana Vetta, Jane McMahon, Stephanie Sneddon, Hugh Thomas and Paul Donnelly © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Work in test trench 1
Work in test trench 1 ; Kristen Mann, trench supervisor, is working with gusto in the foreground © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Ivana Vetta using a hand pick in test trench 2
Ivana Vetta using a hand pick in test trench 2 © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Work in test trench 2 seen from above
Work in test trench 2 seen from above; from left, Stephanie Sneddon, Paul Donnelly, Hugh Thomas, Jane McMahon and Ivana Vetta © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Work in test trench 1
Work in test trench 1 © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Work in test trench 1
Work in test trench 1; from left, Steve Vassilakis, Archondia Thanos, Hannah Moore and Taryn Gooley. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Excavations in test trench 1
The test trench 1 team hard at it; from left, Archondia Thanos, Kristen Mann, Steve Vassilakis and Taryn Gooley © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Paul Donnelly using a pick in test trench 2
Paul Donnelly using a pick in test trench 2 © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Paul Donnelly and Hugh Thomas carrying a wheelbarrow down to the Zagora site
Paul Donnelly and Hugh Thomas carrying a wheelbarrow down to the Zagora site; these guys walked really fast, even carrying the wheelbarrow. And it was an amazing act of faith on Hugh’s part, as he couldn’t see where his feet were going. The blue items in the wheelbarrow are tarpaulins, used to cover the trenches at night or in the case of rain. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Walking to the Zagora site on Monday 19 November 2012; Paul Donnelly and Hugh Thomas are carrying a wheelbarrow for use on the site © PHM; pho...
Walking to the Zagora site on Monday 19 November 2012; Hugh Thomas carrying the wheelbarrow for use on the site; Stephanie Sneddon is now carrying the tarps. Others in the shot are, from left, Meg Miller, Paul Donnelly and Archondia Thanos © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
A page from the Munsell colour chart book on soil in test trench 1
A page from the Munsell colour chart book on soil in test trench 1 © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek

More from the Dig Blog

Zagora dig blog
Jodi Cameron

What is Archaeological Flotation?

Flotation is one of the archaeobotanical sampling techniques used on site to investigate ancient plant remains. Flotation captures small finds including grains and seeds that would normally be missed during archaeological excavation.

Read More »

4 thoughts on “Digging, digging”

Leave a Comment