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Testing the pits

July 31, 2012

Today has been a day of test pitting. Six test pits (some deeper than others) dug in four different features. They all turned out to be virtually empty. Some occasional evidence of human activity, but not at all the dense house floors layers we were expecting. We are now thinking most of the depressions we see are actually remains from harvesting the turf for building material; either for the houses we have on the 2009/10-location, or even, considering the speed of the coastal erosion, belonging to houses already taken by the sea. Turf sourcing pits are often found behind the houses. Negative features then, not uninteresting, but equally not very informative excavated.

This forced us to rethink the excavation plan for the season, and we decided to focus our efforts this year to the same location as the previous two seasons. This is a high point of the area, and it seems likely that the activity have been concentrated to this spot. The two test pits dug in the “mound” behind the excavated areas were also instantly encouraging. From previous years we have evidence of two separate occupation periods; c.1300 to mid 1500s and c. 1650. Given the speed of the erosion and the fact that a large portion of the site has already disappeared, this site is in danger of being totally wiped out in only a few years. We will therefore concentrate on excavate as large part as possible of the area, starting with a nice 22m long and 2  m wide trench straight through the mound, chasing the features from there. In addition we aim to survey the two new sites we found yesterday, and maybe even put in a few test pits. Slightly disappointing results of the day, but still lots of more exciting excavation to come! Stay tuned!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Seija permalink
    July 31, 2012 05:11

    I wish you good luck!

  2. Robert Mårtensson permalink
    August 3, 2012 19:24

    Aaargh! How extremly distressing when the site just disappears into the sea like that! But I guess that’s buissiness as usual for you archeologists.

    • August 6, 2012 04:12

      The erosion is frightfully rapid up here. A very notable consequence of global warming…

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