What a fantastic start to our Aberlady excavations. We have been blessed with a fantastic team of dedicated volunteers who have been working incredibly hard to uncover lots of archaeology in the Glebe Field.
The last blog post explained the process of ascertaining the depth of the plough soil by digging 1x1m test pits. This was to help us inform our JCB driver of how far to strip the turf and topsoil before reaching archaeology beneath. Our JCB has been on site and we now have a much larger area to clean and excavate.
What have we found so far?
In our workshop on Saturday, we prepared ourselves for recognising negative features. These are features which have been taken away, leaving an ‘imprint’ in the ground of where a feature would have been. We were thinking about the evidence for post holes, ditches and pits and what these would have looked like in the ground- a change in soil colour, texture and different inclusions. We also
thought about relationships between archaeological features and the layers between, and those who had not taken part in archaeology before were introduced to an archaeological context. Each layer and feature is labelled as a different context, assigned a number for the records and this helps us to build up the site and work out the relationships between those features around it.
However, we were required to change our approach as we realised the features we were uncovering were not negative. Our team have been finding large stone slabs, rubble and parts of an old wall running through the Glebe Field as shown on old maps.
Hopefully over the next week of the excavation, it will become clearer what these stones relate to, and if there are any other associated features. Lots of large animal bones have been recovered from our trench- which our volunteers spent this afternoon washing and sorting, gaining skills in post excavation and finds processing, whilst also sheltering from the harsh weather.
This week we have had the pleasure of introducing over 150 children to our site, and the Anglo-Saxon period. We have had visits from Aberlady Primary School, Athelstaneford Primary School, Windygoul Primary School, North Berwick High School History Club and Loretto School Sixth Form. On each visit, we have had a chance to excavate, look at archaeological objects and have some discussions about Anglo-Saxon Aberlady. This visit will be followed up by a classroom session. looking at the results of our excavation and some chance for some other hands on archaeological activities.
It is always fantastic to experience a local community so involved in a community project such as Aberlady Angles. From hardy volunteers who have braved all weathers, to enthusiastic children experiencing something new (and the teachers, parents and volunteers who make these visits possible).
What else is going on?
On Saturday 30th April we are having our Open Day. We will have the site open for visitors between 12:00-17:00. Our programme of activities is as follows:
Please see our links to book a place on our Tours of Historic Aberlady. As we have limted places, preference will be given to those who book in advance:
We will meet outside the Kirk Stables, Aberlady High Street- between the Church and the village shop.
Our morning workshop is also free to attend and no booking is required. For our volunteer archaeologists, it will be useful to note there will be no excavation occurring until after these workshops.
We also have our Family Fun Day on the 2nd May. We will have crafts, objects and excavation to get involved with.
For any questions on the above Open Day or Family Day please do not hesitate to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, a huge thank-you to our splendid team of dedicated, talented and wonderful archaeologists!