More Sunshine, what can this mean?

Very weird YAC session today, it was still dry and sunny. The graveyard soil is beginning to dry out and become more difficult to work. Bone in particular has to be excavated much more carefully, with wooden lolly sticks and toothpicks, when the earth is dry.

Sieving

Here are some photos of YAC members sieving their hearts out. As the soil dries out sieving becomes both easier and more productive.

Putting today's spoil into a bucket, ready to be sieved
Putting today’s spoil into a bucket, ready to be sieved
Sieving onto another part of the spoil heap, to avoid resieving the same spoil
Sedentary sieving
Sedentary sieving
Cleaning up a trench
Meticulous sieving whilst excavating
Power sieving
Power sieving
Working in the trenches
Working in the trenches

We are working on tidying up the south west trench in readiness for final recording and backfilling. Above, you can see a YAC member and assistant working on leveling the base of a trench and revealing the bottom edges of gravestones so we can measure their depth.

Below, members are working on the tricky grave discovered in the southern side of the trench. It is close to a large table stone previously excavated, underneath a smaller table stone, then disappears under the fence and towards the tree that has been slowly tipping it up with its roots.

Despite limited access and a difficult reach, we have explosed the entire depth of the curb stone and discovered a miscellany of finds in the fill of the curbed area.

Found it!
Found it!
Bone being identified (or not)
Bone being identified (or not)
Knee preservation measures
Excavating makes you happy!
Excavating makes you happy!
Planning for the future
Planning for the future

Meanwhile we have been drawing sections of the eastern test pit edge. They show very nicely the depth and composition of the rubble spread in the 1920’s. Once this is done we can backfill and move north along the row.

Section of North Trench Edge
Section of North Trench Edge
Excavating makes you miserable
Excavating makes you miserable

A Graveyard in the Sun!

At last! Back in Dunfermline Abbey Graveyard again and enjoying warmth and even sunshine. We had a really good turnout and a few new members along to try their hands at excavation.

There was a high bone count today as we finished excavating a small assemblage of long bones, probably chucked back in in 1927 immediately before rubble was put down to prevent further subsidence.

Clearly something interesting going on
Clearly something interesting going on
Some intial finds interpretation
Some intial finds interpretation
Intense supervision
Foreground: Active supervision; Brackground: Static supervision
Hard at work
Hard at work in the graveyard, which is a perfectly normal thing to do
Sieving spoil for missed finds
Sieving spoil for missed finds
Look what we excavated (very carefully)
Look what we excavated (very carefully)
Standing around, so must be break time
Standing around, so must be break time
Standing around, so must be break time
Pretty sure there is some eating going on in the background of this picture
A couple of leaders clearly not doing that
A couple of leaders clearly not doing that
YAC member working on wrecking his knees
YAC member working on wrecking his knees
Teamwork in the graveyard
Teamwork in the graveyard
A find perhaps? A Worm?
A find perhaps? A Worm?
A bothersome tree root
A bothersome tree root

 

Some Bones

Here is a selection of bone, still uncleaned, that we recovered today. To view a larger image just click on a picture.

Human Vertebrae
Human Vertebrae
Interior of fragmented Occipital (back of skull)
Interior of fragmented occipital (back of skull)
Exterior of fragmented Occipital (back of skull)
Exterior of fragmented occipital (back of skull)
Ulna (forearm) and fragmented Femur (thigh bone)
Ulna (forearm) and fragment of femur (thigh bone)
Note the cut mark on this bone
See the cut mark on this bone? How do you think it was caused? Knife? Gravedigger’s spade? Is it a human or animal bone do you think?
A selection of teeth (middle one probably from a sheep)
A selection of teeth. You should be able to spot the odd one out.