Archaeology in East Oxford

Finds, Bones & Talks

A busy day today, starting off with meeting Paula at our finds shed, to start sorting out the finds prior to a number of days when we are starting to wash and sort them. Gill started to go through the finds which had come back from Bartlemas – they were a bit jumbled up (though properly labelled!) so needed some preliminary sorting – while Paula & I went through the human bones.

We found quite a few skeletons at Bartlemas – some articulated (joined up, as it were) – while some came from charnel pits (where disturbed burials have been redeposited, but the bones are all jumbled up). The ‘faculty’ that we have from the diocese allows us to lift disarticulated human bones, but we leave any intact burials as they were buried. Even working within these rules we ended up with a surprising amount of remains, which Paula & I went through – well I went through some stuff and handed anything I was unsure about to her (which meant most of it!) – she can glance at a bone and decide ‘Human’ or ‘Animal’ while I can just about work out ‘Bone’! However, after cleaning off the obvious mud and stuff, we still ended up with 3 boxes of remains to be washed and properly sorted at Rewley House next month. We all did some counting up of materiel (finds trays, tooth brushes, bowls) that we will need for the finds cleaning in future, and packed away the finds that Gill will be cleaning at ArkT next month, while Paula took away the human bones to Rewley House.

Later this evening we went to the ArkT centre for a meeting about the ‘End of Year’ get together that we are having for all the volunteers, well not the party so much as the talk we want to give to present ‘What Went On at Bartlemas’. Who is saying what about what, how long we have to rabbit on, etc. Found out to our horror that Jane has accumulated over 11Gb of photos during the dig, inevitably no one had brought along a USB stick that large, so lots of negotiating about how to get the photos (of course we need them all, what if we miss the critical one for our talk!). Eventually got a rough idea of who is doing what and decided to go down to the pub and continue the conversation over a well earned pint or two!


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