YAC members and leaders alike were shocked and disturbed on Saturday by the relatively dry soil conditions in some parts of the graveyard excavation site. “It’ll end in tears, you mark my words,” commented a worried leader as he pulled on his second hat. Rain came too little and too late in the day, which is just typical.
Anyway, we had a good turn out and got lots done. Further progress was made on the measured drawing of our split-personality gravestone, as you can see. Either we are seeing a scallop shell and saltire, or a shell-headed alien raising its weird arms in surrender to a citizen of Dunfermline. Remember that we have already seen clear images of aliens on a nearby gravestone.
Trench 3 (east extension)
At the south end of the site more of the masonry block that lies between table gravestone and the buried curbed low-marker was revealed. It’s a substantial piece of stone and seems to have been scored, perhaps to take mortar. It is wider than the table stone above, so were they ever related to each other? Several broken bricks turned up within the curbed area and another immediately underneath the table gravestone. Evidence of brick-wielding aliens I wonder?
Two fragments of a small glass vessel were among the finds, in amongst the ash and slag. The glass was photographed against a black background, but is actually clear. Note the mold-line running through the centre of the pieces.
Fragments of clay tobacco pipe were recovered, including part of a decorated bowl. Hopefully there is enough detail surviving for identification.
In a Far Corner of Trench 9
This trench should have been pretty much done and dusted (we always dust our trenches), but alas, our members will keep uncovering new features. Today’s surprise was a small, nicely finished masonry block right up against the corner of a large curbstone, for no readily obvious reason. At first glance it looks as though it may once have been part of another curb.
More glass was excavated around the block; this time fragments of a corrugated-style plate glass. A quick look revealed that at least two pieces fit together. There are plenty of bubbles within the glass, so it was not of the best quality.
Meanwhile in Trench 4
Work continued to expand Trench 4 westward – a move that has been predicted will end in conflict with the inhabitants of Trench 1. Be that as it may, we need to be able to record the gravestone at the eastern end of the trench and the curb running along the north edge. Excavation was made laborious by the dry soil conditions.
As a final treat, here are some nails that came out of some of the trenches today. More often than not they are incased in little knobly balls of rust, soil and stone, but we were lucky enough to find some unaturally clean examples. The nail on the right is particularly nice. The thick, square head shows that it is handmade. The others are most likely handmade too, but are more encrusted. Was the lefthand example a hook, or just a bent nail do you think?