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Tarradale Through Time Blog

Barrow Cemetery Dig - Day 4

by Anne Coombs - 07:52 on 04 September 2019

In Trench 1 it was just hard work with very stony ground and very indistinct features.  T1 is on the higher ground and over the years has been more subject to movement of soil downhill.  Today the features finally became more defined and all the hard work of the T1 warriors was rewarded.

Trench 2 has 2 large areas with some of the larger features.  Here cleaning back appeared easier as the features showed through the remaining top soil.  However, of course, that meant that taking the top soil off was much more delicate.  But by the end on today the patterns were beginning to make a bit of sense. 

Although obviously the big features are the main focus, what I like are the more ephemeral marks in the subsoil. Today the old plough lines were very clear.  The trench looks a bit like corrugated iron or corduroy with the thin lines of top soil indicating the line of the very tip of the old ploughs cutting into the subsoil.   The spacing of the lines suggest ploughing going back through history possibly to the very first ‘modern’ ploughs drawn by horses.  But as one member of the digging group pointed out to another much younger member horse drawn ploughs only went out of use in the early 1960s.  Decidedly within the lifetime of some of our volunteers who remember those days.  But of course the marks may be much, much earlier taking us back to medieval times.

Tomorrow we hope to finish the first full clean back and photography before moving onto the next stage in T1 and T2.  T3 will begin its clean back and we will be able to see what we have there and work out the strategy for the whole site.

 Trench 2B


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