[image: Emptying the water from the spring, with pump and buckets]
Emptying the water from the spring, with pump and buckets
[image: The oven exposed for archaeomagnetic dating]
The oven exposed for archaeomagnetic dating
[image: Brian at work at the other end of the spring trench]
Brian at work at the other end of the spring trench
Mark Lodwick surveys his way back onto site
The news in brief
Pumping water from the trenches, archaeomagnetic dating, and the hunt for geophysical anomalies. All in a day's work for the team on Anglesey.
We've started work in earnest in the spring trench and, after collecting a water pump, we were able to empty the water from the spring itself this morning and make a start on cleaning up the remains exposed last year. We've also opened a small trench over a magnetic anomaly situated outside the enclosure on the east side of the site (see 'Hot spot trench' in the site section of this web site), in order to establish its date and function. What's more, we've also sampled the oven for archaeomagnetic dating (a technique which uses changes in the Earth's magnetic field through time to date fired particles of clay). Several successive clay linings have now been identified (repairs to the oven superstructure); bread production was clearly important!
I got back on to site today after my time out surveying (see previous update), and soon got involved in a little of the hard work. I also had the opportunity of helping Dr Peter Rauxloh (Museum of London Specialist Services) in recording his samples for archaeomagnetic dating of the oven.
By the end of the fifth day most of the northern half of the spring trench had been hoed clean and more features were becoming visible. The topsoil has been removed from the southern half of the trench and some initial cleaning has been done. At the western side of the main trench a slit trench which we dug in 1997 was rediscovered and the backfill is now being removed. Everyone has been working very very hard.
I've not even made it to the finds shed in the last two days. However, finds are beginning to mount up (mostly from metal detecting in other fields) so I will need to spend at least part of tomorrow there.