Day 6 & 7

Ok, first off a correction to the previous entry. When I said “a horse bridal ring” had been found, what I meant was “a horse bridle ring”, lest anyone thinks that marriage to (or between) horses was normal practice in Roman Norfolk. Although Caligula is rumoured to have made his horse a senator, even he drew the line at equine nuptials. So it’s a bridle ring and is still firmly wedged in the road surface.

Sunday dawns bright and sunny (sadly not to last) and we are treated to some low flying action from Mike Page who takes a series of aerial photographs of the site with its white lines in place. This is quite fortuitous as it hammers with rain latter making the lines slightly fainter. You can see some of these pictures here. Trench 1 is by the north gate and Trench 2 is the L-shaped one in the north-east corner. The church trench, rather predictably, is by the church (which for our younger readers is the large building with the tower on the east side of the field). In the excavation records, for reasons that need not detain us here, trench 1 is known as trench 3, but we won’t worry about that.

The road in Trench 2 continues to appear very nicely and now includes a very clear wheel rut, caused by the passage of traffic following the same route over the years. The road that we are looking at (the funny diagonal one in the north east corner of the town) was blocked when the town wall was built across its path towards the end of the 3rd century. It changed at this point from being a major route between the two main religious areas of the town (one in the centre and one outside the town to the north east) to being an unsavoury backstreet leading to nowhere at all. It may well have become choked with rubbish (including a cow’s jaw still lying on the surface) and gives us a graphic indication of how the Roman town was changing in the later period.

More significantly, however, we have a lot of visitors on the Sunday and sword sales reach a peak. We’re working out the figures but we’ll aim for a weekly sales graph as we know that this is the detail that really interests our readership. Cash donations are down, however. 338 visitors came up with a measly £7 between them. Either this is the recession biting or we’re not being aggressive enough with the bucket shaking. Whatever, as St Bob of Geldof so persuasively put it “Give us your ******* money now”. Or buy a Veni Vidi Vici pencil.

The main themes of days 6 and 7, which is why they’ve blurred into one, is wind, wind, and more wind. Plus some heavy rain to add some variety to the proceedings. It’s draining to be constantly battered by it, and the directorial bungalow/tent is in severe danger of blowing away. This is more of a problem than previously as it now contains the directorial wife and children, so if it goes airborne it will be more of a problem than before. Watch this space.

Caistor 2010 from the air, complete with street grid.

The church trench

Trench 2, straddling the road to nowhere.

And Trench 1 (or is it Trench 3?!).

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3 Responses to Day 6 & 7

  1. Adam B says:

    Hmmm, we turned up on the Sunday 22nd… nobody asked for any donation and to be brutally honest, although having a look about was interesting nobody really engaged us for it to be worth paying money for. If someone was there to talk to people and show them finds and be enthusiastic about it then I’d easily give a fiver. Truth be told in times as these where the family budget is tight I’ve got deep pockets and short arms and although Sunday was briefly interesting you need to get someone to show people around (like an enthusiastic student) let them handle artefacts and then suggest they give you money.

  2. Will Bowden says:

    Thanks for the comment. We do try to engage with visitors as much as possible. There is a marquee with information for visitors and volunteer guides to the excavations. I’m sorry you didn’t encounter one of the latter. We’ve had very positive feedback from visitors generally, so I’m sorry that you didn’t find your visit more than briefly interesting. The donations bucket is in the marquee if you happen to pop back though.

  3. Adam B says:

    I think you misunderstand a bit, it was briefly interesting in the sense that we were interested while we were there but there wasn’t really enough to see or show the kids so we couldn’t entertain them for long enough. We did come back today to have another look around just at the point it rained heavily and we did get someone speak to us and explain a bit of what was going on and got to see some finds which made it all the more worthwhile. I did make a small donation this time and we’d like to come back again but unfortunately the next 2 weekends we’re busy so won’t make it. Will just have to watch on telly instead later this year.

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