by Jack Vernon
We’re two thirds of the way through the dig now and only have two weeks left. After the first couple of weeks the weather turned and we have had hot, sunny weather since. This makes it incredibly hot at the dig site. Luckily the sun shades have been built and they protect us to some extent from the sun and its heat. Because of the high heat we have changed the starting time to 6:00 am instead of the previous 6:30.
Last week was my first time in the Northwest where there are many features in the trenches. There are also lots of pits though. These pits are created by previous settlers on the site as well as animal holes. It is quite easy to find the pits as the soil is often looser and darker than the surrounding soil. No one likes these pits as it means that we don’t know when all of the pottery in them dates to and part of the level could be contaminated pottery from a later period. This week I found one such pit and I was told to see how far down it went. I dug down as far as I could but the pit kept going and it wasn’t big enough for me to go into it to keep digging down. Hopefully it doesn’t go much further. In the rest of the trench it is common to come into lots of little pits caused by animal burrows which don’t go down very far, but it is still common to find later pottery than you expect in these holes. The biggest pit on site is in the neighbouring trench to the one I was digging in this week and takes up most of the trench. Luckily these pits are really only seen in the Northwest and the rest of the trenches are free of the disappointment of finding them.