Archaeology in East Oxford

Bartlemas Finds Washing – Part 2

There was not much really interesting stuff turning up during the finds washing on Friday apart from a piece of nice Tudor green pot and two human finger bones though, as usual, it was an enjoyable day – plenty of chatter,  exchanging of views and opinions (polite description!). We put some of the finds from the previous washing session near the radiators in the ArkT hall as the shed is pretty damp at this time of year; both Paula and Leigh & I had been up and replaced the paper and turned the finds but some were still damp. There was a good turn out of helpers (a big Get Well to Steve who slipped on the icy surface in his drive and couldn’t make it) who made big inroads into the remaining Bartlemas finds. There is only one smallish box left to do now.

Finds washing

Finds washing last Friday – 27/01/2011

Since the radiators are very warm (we had the doors open at the front so people could come & go but it was still shirt-sleeves in the hall) the finds dry quickly and we were able to bag up most of the finds washed in the morning as well as the ones from the previous session.

Leigh helped me sort out the CBM (Ceramic Building Material; bits of brick & tile) from the rest of the stuff and bag it up as only the potentially interesting pieces need washing, such as pottery and tiles which show some glaze or patterning. We also screened out the material that should not be washed – rusted iron, patinated glass (glass which has been in the earth for some time gets a ‘patina’ – a shiny surface covering), lead & plaster. Yet more bags as, of course, everything has to be labelled!

The next session will be washing the test pit finds. Before that I will be writing up the bulk finds; I measure and weigh everything & record the proportions of each type of material in each context. We are working towards producing an interim report on Bartlemas in May.



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