Wednesday, 16 April 2014

16 April 2014, Barnsley Pals Project, Day 3

Day three and there is still no let up in the sunny weather! We were joined by two new faces today, Mark and Sue, both eager to try out archaeological techniques. The team split into two and half of the group picked up where they had left off yesterday at the ablution block bases.

Duncan then arrived in style on this 1945 BSA motorbike, it certainly helped to add a military flavour to the day!

Back on the resistivity survey, Abbie and Sue walked the array through the grids. The team managed to complete nine squares, the current site record!

The good weather is certainly helping the speediness of the survey, that and the reasonably flat ground!

The ground is not as flat as it first seems and the site is full of interesting lumps and bumps, for example there is this rectangular cut into the road banking that lines up with a flat area immediately to the side. It is probably the surface for a long hut base, the survey should be able to pick up any disturbance below the ground here.

After lunch the teams swapped over and more and more was revealed of the concrete bases.

 More post holes were revealed in the concrete base, probably from a frame that held up the showers or the roof of the structure.

The post holes ran in a line across the edge of the base, interestingly there appeared to be square ones, inter-spaced with rectangular ones, the square holes look like they match up with a line of post holes down the centre line of the base. Is this the structure of a frame? Are the rectangular holes the remnants of the structure's exterior? It is difficult to tell at this stage and hopefully the full excavation may be able to answer these questions.

We have had very little in the way of military artefacts, it has mainly been domestic items, such as bottles and even tent pegs (from the Scout Camp!). However, today, Concrete Chris found this spent cartridge. Initial excitement was short lived as it was seen to be a modern NATO 7.62mm blank round, manufactured in 1985! How this has managed to get on site is a mystery, but it could have come from a group of re-enactors who possibly used the site for a demonstration.

By the end of the day the two bases that we are currently working on are coming along nicely, both have revealed structural elements that look like drainage systems, plus some of the features of their construction.

There is still quite a way to go before they can be recorded, but they are looking much better than when we started two days ago!

We will be back tomorrow for more work, so if you are interested in getting involved, then drop us a line at: or keep checking back at this blog for further updates!

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