20 Jul 2017

Forty Hall Summer Dig - Day 8

trench 6
wall in trench 6

A brief spell of rain slowed things down slightly this morning but thankfully cleared up by the afteroon, not delaying things too much.

We opened a new trench today (trench 6), to the north of trench 2, looking for a continuation of the partition wall(s) and possibly the floor in our palace building.

Not much progress has been made in this trench yet, but a wall has appeared, running north-south at the west end of the trench.

There's more work to do on it, but it seems to be more substantial than the narrow room partition walls in trench 2 and last year's trench, so may be more likely to be a proper full-height brick wall rather than a support for a timber framed construction as with the others.

polychrome stoneware sherd

Decorated stoneware is definitely the theme of this year's dig - we can scarcely put a trowel in the ground without finding fragments of stoneware jugs/mugs - trench 6 has already produced several sizeable pieces including body, neck and base fragments.

Another bearded man also put in an appearance, similar in style to yesterday's, but with the lower part of his face rather than the upper.

We also had another fragment of a coat of arms decorated in the same multicoloured glaze as the piece with the figure of a man we found on day 6.

In trench 2, the brick floors are now alsmost fully exposed and the painstaking process of cleaning them for full interpretation, planning and photography has begun.

Interpretation will be no mean feat - there are evidently several phases of development to the upper floor surfaces alone.

brick floor
hole cut through the brick floors

Meanwhile, in the south east corner of the floor there is a feature causing much head scratching - the floor seems to have been cut through during demolition and a sizeable pit dug through it.

We spent much of today removing the rubble fill of this cut hoping to see signs of the large wall we recorded yesterday, which we know the upper floor is laid upon and looked to be running in this direction.

The hole has revealed substantial brickwork beneath both upper floors but it is not a wall - the brick work seems to consist of several layers including at least one course of roof tile, and some bricks seem to be laid edge-on as the floors are.

Could these be even earlier floor surfaces? Making sense of this feature is complicated by the messy nature of the demolition cut and will be an important job for tomorrow.


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