The news in brief
A new burial, in an unusual location, provides the latest surprise; and the sieving programme has struck a hint of gold.
The last week of an excavation often produces surprises, and our final year at Llanbedrgoch maintains this tradition! Burials have been uncovered during each of the last three years of excavation, and yesterday another inhumation was found within the midden deposits in the Spring trench - within the enclosure, and orientated E-W (head to east). Once again, the location of the burial is unusual, though unlike the burials found in the ditch fill, the body has been properly laid out. The full significance of this may become clear as it is fully exposed. The strategy of wet sieving lower spring fills has also been vindicated with the discovery of two glass beads and our first gold find - a length of filigree wire of the sort often found decorating Insular jewellery of 7th-9th-century date.
One of the big discoveries in the Spring trench on Monday was the uncovering of a burial. It was found unexpectedly at the south west corner of the trench beneath midden deposits and orientated east-west, perhaps suggesting a Christian burial rite. The grave appears to have been cut through the midden and the layer beneath and placed on the natural sub-soil.
Other discoveries in the Spring trench include a drain to the south of the oven building, leading southwards towards the depression containing the midden deposits. A couple of ditches were discovered at the base of the midden deposits, though in section they were seen to be cutting through them. In the last few days of the dig, we are trying to sort out the sequence of ditches around the oven building and also the deposits in the building itself, and how it relates to the newly-discovered drain.
The weather has been kind and the washed bone is drying well. Yesterday we started wet sieving the sediments from the spring area. The first day produced two glass bead fragments and a tiny piece of gold. Today, however, produced nothing of any note.