1st May 2005 - More structural evidence from Trench 2

Posted by steven on 01/05/2005 at 08:42 PM

Although we have once again been plagued by heavy showers of rain this week, some new structural evidence has been uncovered in Trench 2. Read on for this weeks report, including details of some new finds.

Working between the heavy showers we have now managed to remove context C205 from Trench 2 and have uncovered some new structural evidence, possibly associated with the former entrance to the cave below.

The archaeological deposits removed from the fill of context C205 comprised a dark organic rich sediment containing lumps of charcoal, burnt and unburnt bone and lenses of peat ash. The stratigraphy is quite complex with discrete dumps of burnt material creating tip lines in the baulks and sections of the trench. Fire-cracked stone was also removed with the fill, although the quantity of this material decreased slightly with depth. A small hearth was uncovered in the south sector of the trench comprising two small upright slabs of stone, surrounded by a small area of paving.  The paving slabs have been affected by heat.

The image above shows the north-facing section of Trench 2. The tip lines and their associated stone can be clearly seen in the section, dipping in to what we hope to be the former entrance to Bone Passage. The wooden board and supports to the right of the image are a precautionary measure, to safeguard workers on site from any stones falling out of the baulk of the trench at the northwest end (scale = 2m)

More structural evidence has also been uncovered in Trench 2 in the north sector. Here, we had previously revealed large granite slabs tilting into the fill of the entrance.  These may be a revetment for the side of the entrance passage into the cave, or may be paving that has collapsed into a void of the passage.  In the NW corner of the trench, adjacent to these slabs, we also uncovered the top of a large upright stone. Further excavation in this area should answer the myriad of questions concerning these structures and their association with the former entrance into the cave. In the floor of the trench, in the north sector, we also revealed an area of well-laid paving (see image above).

The area in the foreground of the image above shows the small hearth setting surrounded by dumps of peat ash and charcoal. Beyond the central baulk of the trench the area of paving is clearly visible, with the large granite slabs dipping into the trench from the right

We have continued to uncover some new finds during the past week including burnt and unburnt bone, charred cereal grains, burnt hazelnut shell, two pebble grinders and a large fragment of a sandstone saddle quern. This link will take you to the latest finds from Trench 2.

Next entry: 8th May 2005 - Weekly update for the excavation of Trench 2

Previous entry: 24th April 2005 - Good progress made in Trench 2


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