Ellemford Day 9: Digger’s Blog Extra - Rachel, 12th October 2014
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Digger’s Blog Extra: Rachel 12th October 2014
(Photo Rachel throws a shape after a hard day’s work in Test Pit C2)
First time at Flodden
After spending only one week at my new university, for some reason I decided that going away with some girls on my course, some who’ve I never actually met, to travel up to Flodden* and voluntarily help with the excavation. To date my interest for archaeology had been limited to the fascinating study of the theory and scientific aspects of the subject. This was to be my first time to leave the comfort and warmth of the library and put those skills into practice by digging up Ellemford.
Chris informed us that to date ‘not much had been found’ on the site. So with the wind whistling round and my less than stellar jacket (note to self, wear layers, and layers), I prepared myself not to be too disappointed if we didn’t do quite as well as (Derek McLennan, a metal detector enthusiast, spent a year on a piece of ground in Dumfries and Galloway before he came across Britain's biggest ever haul of Viking metal work...)
Sometime into the process, I discovered what I presumed to be just some odd coloured rock, which appeared to have black deposits around the edges. This odd coloured rock turned out to be a genuine artefact which was of ‘archaeological interest’ and something which needed be treated with ‘reverence’!
Heather, my digging partner and I uncovered what turned out to be a wall, perhaps it could have been part of the church which was rumoured to be on the site. This was a fantastic spur to keeping us digging enthusiastically. This wonderful experience definitely made me appreciate the care, dedication and patience that are prerequisites to field work factors which are absolutely fundamental to my academic career as an archaeologist.
*Ed note - for Flodden read Berwick and then Ellemford around 20 miles to the north of Flodden Field