Day 3: Road to nowhere

The third day of the project starts with the director flaunting himself around the local radio stations of the UK. Starting at 7.20 with Radio Norfolk, he then did Radio Nottingham at 8.15, where his words of wisdom were interspersed with a phone-in on the enticing subject of “what’s the biggest rat you’ve ever seen”. Apropos of a story about giant rats being seen in Bradford, listeners were invited to ring in with their own tales of encounters with mammoth rodents. Dr Bowden’s tales of Boudica couldn’t compete with this so, somewhat dispirited, he went and did something useful like pick up the surveying equipment.

More interestingly, Fred Marsham, lately the groundsman of Norwich High School for Girls, and the omnipresent Dave Bescoby began to paint out the streets of the Roman town with Fred’s line-marking kit. Frankly, it looks brilliant and gives an impression of the scale of the streets and the Roman town. Dave and Fred, however, had to walk miles. The total length of the lines is 7km and each has to be painted twice, once from each direction so the roller paints each side of the blades of grass. They could barely stand by the end, but it was worth the effort. Fred’s efforts were captured by Karen and Susanna from Time Team, so hopefully Fred and the line-marker will be appearing on a TV screen near you in the near future. The second half and the buildings will be done tomorrow.

All roads lead to the excavation portaloos...

Fred Marsham paints out the streets of the town.

The machining also continued, while Jon Cousins and those who had escaped the poo picking began to clean up the first trench. We’re still getting clay pipe etc so the modern(ish) plough soil is going down a good 35 cm. There were finds a plenty although a lot of the iron nail variety. The Corpus of Roman Nails from Caistor is an exciting PhD project waiting to be done and interested potential students should contact Will Bowden at the University of Nottingham. Some tasty coins also came up although any night-hawking metal detectorists reading this, can put away their night-vision goggles because we’re having the lot out at the end of every day, and we’re camping on site. So you can shove your detectors and your e-bay coin sales up your camouflage-clad backsides.

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