Day 2: The rise of the machines

Today, we started machining. Both trenches were opened, although trench 2 had to wait until Karen and Susanna from Time Team arrived to record the moment of its opening for posterity. They also recorded Tony Q, indulging in the Caistor ritual of pre-season poo collection, as we try to rid the campsite of traces of Caistor’s most recent occupants. The poo pickers did sterling work, despite part of the campsite being in an area in which a rich variety of mammalian fauna seems to have left its traces.

 The topsoil was fairly devoid of finds, although a very nice coin with Romulus and Remus suckling at the wolf came up as the machined spits were metal detected. “Hmm, 4th century”, pontificated the director on a Wednesday cameo visit, safe in the knowledge that any small bronze Roman coin is about 90% likely to be of this period.

 The marquee is now also up (with a minimum of comedy value) as is the second marquee (new for 2010) and we are surprisingly on schedule. Just as well, given the forecasted heavy rain and wind for the weekend. Tomorrow, Fred Marsham, from Norwich High School for Girls, begins his epic 7km walk pushing a line marking machine as we paint out the streets of the town. A nervous moment for Dave B, who has surveyed in the markers for the painting. It’ll be fine unless we get a spell of very dry weather, in which case the streets will show as crop marks, and if they’re not in the right place then we’ll look silly to any passing pilot.

Tony pushes back the frontiers of archaeological knowledge by collecting some sheep poo for the Time Team cameras

Peter the machine man gives it his all, removing another 5cm spit of topsoil.

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