Sunday 31 July 2016

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 12

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 12

Day 12 at Tintagel Castle Archaeology Dig- A fantastically sunny day greeted our arrival at the site. First up today, capture wide shots of the island with Alex from 360 Productions, for Digging for Britain (BBC Archaeology Show). The views from the ‘outer ward’ on the mainland side of the site have fantastic vistas overlooking the bay and haven, with the island/headland of Tintagel Castle.

It’s easy to imagine why this naturally defensive site would’ve been appealing in the past, as a safe place to settle, an impressive site to occupy or as a place to command amazing views with high status living. 

Climbing up to the island castle, it was time to meet up with the operator chap doing the camera drone filming and flying. The views captured of the castle ruins and trenches on the Southern and Eastern terrace provide a perspective only enjoyed by the birds, or those who venture near the cliff edges, or Merlin!

Soon back in the trenches, important discussions continue! Who does have the better archaeology dig hat?!

Jacky takes a closer and inquisitive look as the finds continue to emerge from Trench D (Mark). Many exciting ‘things’ have emerged from the soil, and are slowly and carefully being studied for later reveal.

Carl, always busy processing and washing the many finds, from the four exploratory trenches. As a first look at what lies beneath the soil, in order to plan investigation in the future, the 2016 dig, so far, has been an adventure of a lifetime.....

 ....And a lot of carrying soil sample buckets (empty and full)!  Selfie Time!

Friday 29 July 2016

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 11

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 11

Another exciting day investigating on Tintagel Headland. In addition to the ongoing archaeology, which is continuing to reveal fascinating layers of history, we were also joined today by some of the team who produce Digging For Britain - 360 Productions - for additional filming and a site visit.

Archaeologist, Benj, seems pleased with the fragments of pottery he is discovering in Trench C. Soon this will be carefully washed and recorded.

 Filming in the trench continues as everything being investigated is documented for the Dig Diaries.

The stunning view from the Southern Terrace never fails to impress, with the archaeology dig in Trench C and D continuing onwards and downwards.

Trench Cam!  I think I should have a ‘Go Pro’ attached to me full time!

Thursday 28 July 2016

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 10

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 10

Day 10 at Tintagel. Today the island was shrouded with fog and cloud as the day began. We gathered at the foot of the valley, collected the freshly charged filming camera and equipment, and then set off, recording our group climb to top of Tintagel Island and into the castle.

Today’s dig was productive as all trenches are finding a wonderful range of finds, keeping Carl, our expert, busy cleaning, examining, indentifying and recording each and every item. 

Down on the ‘main land’, Wet Sieving continues. The bucket sealed soil samples that we have been gathering (after sieving out the larger rocks, gravel and alike, from each trench context) have been wet sieved, floating out any remaining material from the muddy waters.

After collecting each sample in a fine mesh, they are then hung to dry. Later they will be analysed in the search for grains, seeds, insects or shell fragments.

The two trenches on the Southern Terrace with the sea sloshing about below the cliff.

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 9

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 9

A break away from the real trench today, to composite together the images for this 3D reconstruction of Trench D (Mark). Based on 200+ digital photographs, captured yesterday after the press and other diggers had left the site, this new 3D model reveals how much top soil has been removed since the last scan 2 days ago, as well as an exciting new extension to the trench.

Class B5 Amphorae Handle - Pottery Fragment - Tintagel Castle - Archaeology Field Scan

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 8

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 8

It’s press day at Tintagel Castle Archaeological Dig. TV crews ascend the island, cameras and presenters at the ready, to interview and capture footage showing the ongoing dig, for BBC and ITV news.

Filming Dig Diaries for ‘Digging For Britain’ continues... filming the filming... Trying to capture the daily events, which included the start of the Wet Sieving today.

Jacky is interviewed in Trench C, taking a closer look at some of the pottery and glass finds which have been unearthed.

Filming views over the Southern Terrace, with Trench C and D (Geraint and Mark). The position, just below the high cliffs, provide the opportunity to get views down into the trenches, which has also aided in evaluating the emerging floor surfaces and walls, in addition to the changes in the soils, and other surrounding earthworks.

Back in Trench D we start to unearth a new section, as an extension to the trench will seek to identify what we believe to be an external wall.

Monday 25 July 2016

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 7

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 7 - Time to take a tour of the site!

Trench Tristan on the Eastern Terrace, overlooking the bay. Remains of building walls appear to be emerging from the scatter of fallen stone.

Members of the team interpreting the top of Trench Tristan, after a Sondage (Trench within a trench - a deeper investigation of a small part of a larger trench) reveals a possible wall, which may have been robbed away.

A mixture of weather today, from bright blue skies and baking hot sun, to grumbling sea storms and crashing waves below.

A lot of flybys today, there must have been an air show in the area.

Trench Iseult, also on the Eastern Terrace, showing possible signs of a pathway, alongside natural bedrock and more scattered stone.

Trench Geraint, on the Southern Terrace, has revealed a variety of floor surfaces butting up against walls.

James takes aerial photos of the trenches.

Sunday 24 July 2016

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 6

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 6

A rainy day here at Tintagel Castle as we return to our trenches on the headland. With the rain coming in and the clouds surrounding the islands, the dig took on a different atmosphere today.

Evaluating the trench, in an attempt to interpret what has been uncovered so far. Which walls have collapsed where, and which layers to take off next?

The change in the weather will not dampen our moods ;) 

Recording the progress of the dig, we take a lot of photos throughout the day! The direction arrow points to the top (north) of the trench, whist a peg board indentifies each photo and location, all for future reference.

As we progress through the soil layers, more fragments of  B-Ware pottery are uncovered and bagged, ready for cleaning and fully indentifying.

Obligatory Selfie!

Saturday 23 July 2016

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 5

Friday - Day 5 at Tintagel Castle Archaeology Dig.

3D model scan of Trench D - Showing signs of a revetment wall, and wall rubble, on the Southern Terrace of Tintagel Island.

A break from the full sun today, a brief morning shower from off the sea dampens down the soil (and us). A slightly damper soil made for less dusty digging as we took the earth down to reveal the next layer of history.

B1 Pottery imported from the Greek islands - Likely carrying Olive Oil

All finds (such as this B1 Pottery imported from the Greek islands - Likely carrying Olive Oil) are catalogued, bag and tagged, before being cleaned and indentified. The positions of each find are also recorded and surveyed.

The positions of each find are recorded and surveyed.

The Trench in 3D (D or Mark) at the end of 5 days digging, clearly showing the likely revetment wall, collapsed at one end and a layer of collapse covering most of the trench itself.

Dry Sieving on the south terrace. The soil taken from the trench is put through 3 meshes, each decreasing in size, and the remaining fine soil samples will then be processed next week via Wet Sieving.

Dry Sieving on Tintagel Castle's south terrace.

Studying anything that looks out of place; this doesn’t match the local stone, or the material from the collapsed walls in the trench.

Team Photo time as we come through to the end of the first week of digging. We’ve shifted, scraped and sifted through a lot of soil, stone and gravel in all 4 trenches on the Eastern and Southern terrace's at Tintagel Castle. Lots more to find yet!

Friday 22 July 2016

Tintagel Castle - Archaeological Dig - Day 4

Day 4 and the adventure continues at Tintagel Castle.

Today started with site tour, a brief study of the other additional ruins on the island served as a comparison to the evidence emerging in the trench and help with the interpretation of what we are seeing, buildings wise.

More pottery fragments coming out of the trench today, and heading off to be cleaned. 

Ryan gets ready to measure the position of today’s finds so far.

Here is a wide view of our 'Trench Mark' on Tintagels Castles Southern Terrace. We are still cleaning through the layers, exposing collapsed wall which once recorded and plotted, we can lift to search for the buried floor surface below.

Archaeology on the edge!

 My last find for today, a burnt flint stone pebble, the inside has turned white. 

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