Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Glendalough Field School 2014: Post Excavation

The final week of the Glendalough Field School 2014 saw the beginning of the post-excavation process. This edition will include the entire post-excavation week with all the practices which had been carried out.

The first day of post-excavation began with the writing up of the registers for all trenches. Finds, camera, drawing and sample registers were all typed up using Microsoft Excel. This left us with a clean digital format of our current registers which can be stored with little chance of being damaged. The digital registers would also allow for a proper checking of artefacts later in the post-excavation process.

With the help of the students the finds were carefully cleaned to reveal a better surface for storage and allow for further interpretation at a later date. From white ceramics to clay pipes all were delicately washed using a toothbrush and a basin of water. Once washed the bags of each set of finds were checked for accuracy. They were also sorted into material type and all finds per trench were eventually placed into their own bag. At the end of this process we had three large bags full of smaller categorized bags from each trench. 

This was far from the end of the post-excavation process however, with the weather conditions being as poor as they were during the second week it left the trench boxes wet and muddy. All of the trench boxes were cleaned through and dried when necessary. It was also double checked that the trench boxes contained all the necessary equipment for next years excavations. This process of cleaning and checking was also undertaken for each of the drawing boxes. 

Among the larger tasks in post-excavation there were many smaller tasks which needed doing. Cleaning of hard hats as well as scanning of drawings were all carried out throughout the week. While some students had come back on the Wednesday in order to help backfill trench 12 there were still students working in UCD in order to get everything finished to make the rest of the post-excavation process without the students as easy as possible. 

Being able to partake in the post-excavation process one becomes quite aware of all the background work which surrounds an excavation such as that at Glendalough. The immense quantity of work which came both before and after the excavation was quite overwhelming which allows us to now truly appreciate the people behind the excavations from start to finish.

No comments:

Post a Comment