Finding Joe the Quilter’s Cottage: preparing for the dig!

This week we began excavating the site of Joe the Quilter’s Cottage (learn more about the project here), but before work could begin Cassie and Clara discovered that there was an important job to be done first. John (our resident archaeologist) explained that as excavations are dug in layers (with each change in the ground material or condition being a new layer) we would need to know how high above sea level the site is so that we can correctly record each layer. The purpose of digging in layers is to identify the context in which a find is discovered, which helps to understand and date it.

The nearest benchmark to the site is at a bridge about 2 miles away, so we had to work out the hight of the site using a dumpy level with the benchmark as our starting point. In reality this meant gradually walking up the hill towards the site with the dumpy level and a measuring staff, adding up as we went how high above sea level we were.

Initially we set out with great excitement…

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Before we realised quite how far we had to go…

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Soon boredom set in….

Soon boredom set in...

Followed by despair….

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But eventually we reached the site!

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The excavation will be continuing over the next two weeks, look out for more posts about what we discover!

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