Bective excavations Blog


Day 17 – Cutlery in cutting E
July 28, 2009, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

With only three days left we are all working very diligently, through the cold rain that fell much of the day. Our efforts were rewarded when Auriel Robinson found a 15th/16th century spoon and an iron knife while tidying up the section face in cutting E. She will be back tomorrow to find the rest of the table setting. Planning took place in cutting B and in cutting A the cobbled area is all but cleared. In the afternoon, Kevin O’Brien of the Office of Public Works gave a master class on architectural survey. Shannon, a film maker from Ohio, via the Houston Film school in NUI Galway, spent the day with the IAFS participants preparing a short documentary.

 

A Bronze spoon from the fifteenth/sixteenth century, showing in the section face..

A Bronze spoon from the fifteenth/sixteenth century, showing in the section face..

Matthew and Áine planning in Cutting B while film maker Shannon looks on.

Matthew and Áine planning in Cutting B while film maker Shannon looks on.

 

Kevin O'Brien explains the intricacies of architectural survey to the IAFS students in the Cloister of Bective Abbey

Kevin O'Brien explains the intricacies of architectural survey to the IAFS students in the Cloister of Bective Abbey

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Day 16 – Volunteers!
July 27, 2009, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today the IAFS students went to the CRDS main office near Greenanstown to wet-sieve our soil samples. Matthew and Geraldine had planned a quiet day drawing section, but that was not to be. When they got to the site the found a group of eager volunteers who wanted to ‘dig’ the site. All the squares hummed with industry and great progress was made. The find of the day was a Fionnuala Parnell’s  shroud pin. It was discovered in the post-medieval pit in the corner of cutting E, where a human skull had been found on Friday last.

 

The 'post pads' of our 'guest house' in cutting B. These substantial masonry plinths would have supported a large building.

The 'post pads' of our 'guest house' in cutting B. These substantial masonry plinths would have supported a large building.

 

Important visitors to the site; Hugh Conaghy, Hugh Young, Nora Conaghy and Bernie Condon.

Important visitors to the site; Hugh Conaghy, Hugh Young, Nora Conaghy and Bernie Condon.

 

A busy day on the site.

A busy day on the site.

 

Volunteers on Monday were (from left to right) Fionuala, Douglas, Irene, Mark, Bernard, Philomena.

Volunteers on Monday were (from left to right) Fionuala, Douglas, Irene, Michelle and Hugh Young (at the top), Mark, Bernard and Philomena.



Sunday photo shoot
July 27, 2009, 9:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Can’t get enough of the site. Geraldine brought her daughter Nóra and Paul Woods to Bective to photograph a selection of the finds.

 

Medieval floor tiles.

Medieval floor tiles.

 

Selection of medieval pottery.

Selection of medieval pottery.

Medieval slates.

Medieval slates.

 

A selection of medieval nails.

A selection of medieval nails.

Metal finds.

Metal finds.

Post-medieval pottery.

Post-medieval pottery.

 

Photographer Paul Woods at his field studio on Sunday.

Photographer Paul Woods at his field studio on Sunday.

 

 

Nóra with site mascot Paud. Paud even works Sundays.

Nóra with site mascot Paud. Paud even works Sundays.



Day 15 – The French Connection… at last
July 27, 2009, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

 

Liam shows Siobháin the glories of the planning frame.

Liam shows Siobháin the glories of the planning frame.

Today we found our first piece of Saintonge pottery, within the interior of our masonry building (the ‘guesthouse’). The sherd came from a rich charcoal and ash layer which the IAFS students will wet sieve on Monday. Watch this space. The cobbled surface was cleaned and planned. The ‘bank’ in cutting in is a much thicker layer than first thought. It will take a few more days to reach the bottom.

 

 

The cobble surface after the removal of household waste.

The cobble surface after the removal of household waste.

 

 

Young archaeologist Peter Lacey, no relation to Hugh De.

Young archaeologist Peter Lacey, no relation to Hugh De.



Day 14 – Call in the specialists
July 23, 2009, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today we had a visits of some key specialists who assisted in the identification of our pottery, bone and environmental finds. Roasanne Meenan, post-medieval pottery specialist, took the finds personnel through some of the pottery that came up in the upper layers of the cuttings. Then Fiona Beglane gave an inspiring seminar on the identification of animal bones. We have rats and cats (no elephants), horses, cattle, sheep, birds, pigs. We removed of the last of the medieval waste and a sample will be examined on Monday for plants, seeds and fishbones. A human skull was recovered in the pit in the corner of cutting E where John had found a clay pipe and knife. We celebrated the birthday of Joanne, the finds analyst for CRDS, keeping everyone honest.

 

Rosanne

Post-medieval pottery expert, Rosanne Meenan, goes through the finds with Stephanie.

 

Bone expert, Fiona Beglane, showing the hip bone is connected to the leg bone.

Bone expert, Fiona Beglane, showing the hip bone is connected to the leg bone.

 

The 'men who know' in cutting B.

The 'men who know' in cutting B; Nicky Mallon, Matthew and Tim Stout.

Maureen Finn and Nick Mallon, dynamic volunteers from Drogheda.

Maureen Finn and Nicky Mallon, dynamic volunteers from Drogheda.

 

Sharon from Drakestown, County Louth, and Grace from the Philippines, troweling.

Sarah from Drakestown, County Louth, and Grace from the Philippines, troweling.



Day 13 – A medieval guesthouse?
July 22, 2009, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The wall has turned out to be at least two stone footings for supporting a great timber structure. Perhaps this is the remains of a guesthouse, which would be a great discovery. Some of the students were metal detecting the spoil heap to be on the safe side. Sarah found the skeleton of a small animal that might be a cat. She calls it skinny’. The long cutting across the ditch should be finished tomorrow, all going well.

 

To be sure to be sure. Siobháin metal detects the spoil heap to ensure that nothing has been missed.

To be sure to be sure. Siobháin metal detects the spoil heap to ensure that nothing has been missed.

 

The wooden skirt, what the fashionable archaeologist is wearing this season.

The wooden skirt, what the fashionable archaeologist is wearing this season.



Day 12 – Rain!
July 21, 2009, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Plan B today. Rain stopped play. We headed off to the Boyne valley in search of our Cistercians. At the top of Knowth passage tomb we looked at the remains of a Cistercian grange (farm) and to Newgrange, site of another Cistercian grange . Here Professor O’Kelly found evidence for medieval cultivation ridges. Shannon, a filmaker from Ohio, came today to begin filming for a documentary on the Irish Archaeological Field school. We are hoping for good weather tomorrow so we can follow the masonry wall.

 

The sodden Irish Archaeological Field School at Knowth Passage Tomb.

The sodden Irish Archaeological Field School at Knowth Passage Tomb.