Posted by: signalhillarchaeology | July 26, 2010

The Elusive Gable Wall…

Excavations around the fireplace base are beginning to wind down, as by the end of the week we’d hit bedrock around the base.  With this in mind, we opened a new trench last week– and it’s a big one.

It stretches 9 meters long in the north-south direction, and it’s two meters wide… it’s going to take some concerted digging to get finished!  Fortunately, we dug right beside this trench last year, and so I know that the deposits in this area aren’t terribly deep.

Here’s a view of the trench after we first opened it…

Somewhere in this trench, we hope to find the gable (end) wall of the building.  We didn’t find it last year, and so if it’s on this terrace at all, it should appear somewhere in this trench. We laid the trench out so it’s as close as we can be to the edge of the terrace, without going over the side of it.

Rubble, first emerging from the ground. The plastic bags you see in the picture are being used to stop dirt stirred up by our excavations from falling down through gaps in the rubble.

We started to find some suspicious-looking rubble in the middle of this trench (here, you can see it in the foreground of this picture).  Was this collapsed rubble from a fallen wall? It’s hard to tell at this point… the rubble could simply be twentieth-century fill brought in to level the site during the Second World War occupation.

Things started to get a little more convincing later on in the week, as this picture shows below:

More rubble!

Here you see the crew working around more and more rubble in the foreground.  We’re still not convinced this is a wall instead of just a happenstance deposit of rubble (it is laying at a slightly incorrect angle to be a building wall)… but it’s the best indication we’ve had so far. The only solution: keep digging! More updates will follow, as our ideas develop.

–Amanda Crompton (Instructor)

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