16 Jul 2014

Festival Of Archaeology 2014 - Forty Hall - Day 2

trench 1

A hot and tiring second day saw trench one extended by two metres south, in an attempt to identify the putative 'curtain' wall causing our targeted linear geophysics anomaly.

While no wall has yet emerged, there has been a significant amount of brick and tile rubble concentrated at the south end of the trench, including odd fragments of dressed stone, glazed floor tiles and other ceramics. The deposits surrounding the rubble dumps are very disturbed and it is still not possible to be sure if the rubble is lying in a random dump, a pit or a linear cut -- if the latter was true then it may explain the geophysics anomaly -- perhaps the remnants of a demolished wall lying in a shallow ditch -- but this does not explain where exactly the wall itself was.

Until we can pin down the line of the wall or a rubble-filled ditch with confidence, we can't begin follow it north and west towards the inner complex of the palace, and so sorting this question out has become our top priority.

brick mullion
Window mullion - The groove held a leaded-glass window

It is also apparent, due to the large number of broken roof tiles, fragments of glazed floor tiles, and even a few shaped bricks, including a fragment of a moulded brick window mullion (pictured) that there must have been at least one reasonably substantial and fairly high status building nearby. Whether or not we can find any clues to where it (or they) stood seems at the moment unlikely, but certainly worth keeping an eye out for!

trench one rubble
Significant deposits of rubble at south end of T1

Although it is only the second day of the dig, the weather towards the weekend looks set to become increasingly harsh and may begin to limit the amount of work we can safely do in the afternoons, so it would be nice if we can get a handle on what exactly is causing our topographical and geophysical anomalies soon.

Tomorrow we're expecting visits from primary school children so we hope to have something exciting to show them!


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