Rhynie, Aberdeenshire

Rhynie, Aberdeenshire
The Craw Stane with Tap o'Noth hillfort in the background (Photo courtesy of Cathy MacIver).

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Amphorae sherds galore and a special deposit

A busy few days interspersed with lots of heavy rain showers for us here at Rhynie.  All the work is going well.  Although, our annexe ditch that we thought was 'sorted' turns out to have a few tricks up its sleeve yet.  An annoying thing for a ditch that is rather insubstantial and that we are still not sure why it exists.

However, lots of Late Roman Amphorae sherds are popping up particularly in the outer ditch and a mystery fabric has also appeared on site.  We have some inklings of what it might be, but nothing we are willing to commit in writing until approved by our findsmaster Ewan.

Irvine and Alex working on the outer ditch.

The main outer ditch section we are doing this year has been completed and remains only to be drawn and contexts described.  It was a mammoth effort! We kept a close eye on our team of two (Ani and Nicola) to make sure they were safe and also to keep their spirits up after saying 'no, that isn't the bottom' too many times.

Team Outer Ditch have a victory trowel before their post-ex photo.

Work on the palisade continues.  We can definitely see the ghost of planks (although sometimes we debate where it is!), but are still working to clarify how the structure was built.  A long section of the palisade is being excavated in plan and this should help us with that question.

Palisade Park with John, Vanessa, Oskar and (by popular demand) Fred!

One of our most exciting discoveries today has been a deposit of what looks to be a cattle jaw in the base of a large pit that either represents the end of the outer ditch or is dug into the outer ditch terminal.  This pit was packed with large stones - very unusual for our site even though we have lots of huge postholes.  We have a suspicion that the packing might have supported a stone rather than a wooden post, but this needs to be argued out.  Underneath all the packing material and at the very base was the bone.  As Cathy would say - seems to be a bit 'weirdo' (we try to avoid the word ritual sometimes to avoid being a stereotype).  Grace did a great job in her pit/ditch and was rewarded with crumbling teeth! Ah, archaeology.

The bone deposit in the outer ditch terminal/pit.

Don't forget our Open Day on the 29th. Fingers crossed for less hail - but the rainbows today on site were spectacular.

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