Friday, 25 July 2014

25 July 2014, Hickleton Hall POW Project Day 5

The last day of the first week was another scorcher, we haven't had as much as a single drop of rain all week, which is just fine by us! Work continued in the sondages on hut base 7, with Ant working alone until Rob arrived in the afternoon.

Over at hut base 6 the team continued cleaning up the various sondages.

Martin excavated the newly opened sondage on the corner of the hut base, down to the pathway of clinker and sandstone kerbing.

Whilst Jonathan and Sue recorded the remains we have uncovered in the western sondage. Here, Jonathan measures various points whilst Sue draws the trench on permatrace.

Then the two were taught by Kate to set up and use the theodolite to level the trench.

By the end of the morning they had produced this excellent plan drawing of their trench.

Martin's sondage was also cleaned up ready for a photograph. It showed that the kerb of sandstones around the front of the hut stopped at the corner, but still retained what appeared to be garden earth. The clinker pathway was still in evidence as well!

With the addition of Rob in the afternoon, the sondage at the entrance of hut base 7 was cleaned ready for photographing.

You can see the brick built step and small rockery made from sandstones.

The entrance to this hut base was clearly defined by the brick step, bounded by a jumble of sandstone blocks. These may have been used to fill in the hole left in the ground when they constructed the hut originally. On hut base 6 it appears the men had used this chance to make a small garden, but here it was just filled in with stone.

Then the trench was recorded as with all the other archaeological remains.

In the entrance sondage on hut base 6 we discovered the cut for the construction of the hut. You can just make out the line, about half way down the trench, where the original greyish soil meets the yellowish sandstone. It appears that the ground was cleared down to the natural bedrock before they began building the huts.

We also found some great artefacts today, like this button from another undershirt, this was the third one found.

And this press stud, again, from a uniform.

But, by far, the find of the day went to Ant with this, the fourth button and .303 bullet! It has been fired, you can see the rifling grooves on the side. The lack of any damage on the nose indicates that it was fired into a sandbox by a sentry. The sentry would have stood with a chambered round in his rifle and would have discharged it when he came off duty. This may have got stuck on someone's boot as it was found within the brick entrance to hut base 7.

Another great day, with lots done and found, but we have finished for the weekend. Hopefully the cows will leave our trenches alone and we'll be back on site on Monday! Also check out our Twitter and Facebook for more updates on Elmet and what we are up to!

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