News from the past couple of days, from Alison and Paulina
Today was a bit unusual for us, being a Saturday training session. It was a lovely sunny day (to start with at least!) on which to welcome both returning trainees and some new faces.
Regular tutors Laura and Tristan were joined by archaeologists Paulina and Vicky (both of Trent & Peak Archaeology), with NCMG volunteer Jon as our Explainer. Trent & Peak Archaeology volunteer Monty was also onsite, working with three young winners of the Dig it! with YAC competition. You can read about what our young archaeologists got up to in the dig diary entry below.
Our trainees quickly set to work, with an introduction to the site and a health and safety induction for those new to the dig. Armorel and Cynthia continued excavating, photographing, drawing and recording the deep features in the west of the trench. New trainees were soon busy washing, recording and rebagging finds with Paulina, sieving, cleaning the bricks and taking down the soil level to their immediate west. There was also a pottery identification tutorial, a stratigraphy workshop, an optional tour of Mortimer’s Hole, levels to take, possible features in the eastern extension to clean, and finds processing to carry out.
It was also a busy day for our Explainer volunteer Jon. He spoke with lots of visitors, showing drawings of the medieval site and maps of the grounds and giving them the opportunity to handle finds. In return, visitors offered some interesting ideas for the features in the west end of the trench, which even included slots for wheels and axles! One young visitor was looking forward to writing about the dig as part of his project on castles, and was excited to hold a musket ball.
Working in the north extension at the east end of the trench, volunteer Monty and our young archaeologists uncovered a number of artefacts that they described as like black wax crayons. One parent suggested that they might be carbon arc rods, which have been used for a range of purposes, including spotlights. Volunteers Monty and Jon are looking forward to researching whether these have ever been used at the Castle, especially during the Second World War.
We also had some other visitors. Trainee Dawn returned to show her family the dig and we were visited by the Nottingham City Women's Institute, accompanied by Dr David Knight (Trent & Peak Archaeology).
You can read about the archaeology that our trainees have uncovered in the news section.
At the end of week 3 the We Dig the Castle team would like to say a thank you to all of our trainees, the visitors and members of the public who have shown such interest in the excavation and the Explainer volunteers who have taken photos, made recordings and been so eager to share the history and archaeology of the site with others.
Alison and Paulina
Hear about Paulina's day and why she enjoys working with trainees: