Day 12

It’s a sunny day and all is thus well with the world. We get a big spread in the EDP, taking up most of pages 2 and 3 so we should get some visitors this weekend. The director rubs his hands with glee, thinking of the potential for sword and key-ring sales. This year’s T-shirts (which are VERY nice) are going fast, so hurry, hurry, hurry if you want one. On the news front, however, we are competing with the capture of a “massive goldfish” at the University of East Anglia, which is understandably the lead story in Saturday’s Evening News. An image of said massive goldfish can be found here.

Trench 1 is back in action and cheerfully working through the big late Roman rubbish deposit that has formed the bulk of the excavation so far. Find of the day from there is a piece of Samian (nice red gloss table ware from Gaul) with some dancing nymphs on it. For anyone interested, the name Samian derives from the misidentification by early antiquarians of this red table ware as that which Pliny (the Elder I think) describes as coming from the Aegean island of Samos. The pottery we think of as Samian definitely doesn’t come from Samos (coming instead from central, eastern and southern Gaul). Despite this, in Britain at least the name has stuck. So there you have it. A rare intrusion of fact and information into the blog. Treasure it, as it won’t happen often.

Some more auguring occurs, this time in Trench 2, where natural is found, as well as what seems to be a very deep feature with possibly (whisper it only) prehistoric pottery in it. There is thus the faint chance that the Iron Age business that the director has been wittering about may actually exist. However, he’s been wrong before as anyone who spent weeks troweling the gravel of last year’s glacially formed “round-house” will attest.

The church get in on the finds action, with a very tasty coin of Vespasian and some other equally unstratified trinkets. The saloon bar level debate on the nature and purpose of the early church foundations continues, but we should get something from the deposits that seem to underlie them.

Lots of visitors (about 200), some of whom get their faces painted by Avril (tent helper and face painter) who comes up with some suitably Celtic motifs. Hazel and the tent team go for some Boudica style squirly stuff in the hope of frightening the visitors into making donations or buying some swords with which to defend themselves.

Andrew Ray, who is running our finances from his hospital bed like a mafia godfather, adds a special donations button to the blog, whereby you can contribute to the project via the magic of PayPal if you so desire. Although we like cake too. Our mystery cake from Aylsham is a ginger cake and very nice it was too.

Upstaged massive fish!

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2 Responses to Day 12

  1. Sue-from Brampton. says:

    Glad you liked the ginger cake….noticed on last year’s blog that cake features heavily in the Caistor Roman Project!!This cake was baked in ‘Roman’ Brampton…which I understand was contemporary with Venta Icenorum?Have put my name down to volunteer for field walking with the hope of doing some digging at some point.. plus more cake! It was very exciting to see the progress currently being made and plan to bring my nephews along to have a look next week….maybe buy them plastic swords!

  2. It is not strictly true that I am managing donations like a Mafioso from my hospital bed. Leaving aside my rather significant lack of hair and pale complexion compared with the average Sicillian, I have not managed to get on-line payments going. BUT I WILL! In the meantime if someone wishes to donate please e-mail me at

    I look forward to showing you all my new hair style perhaps over next week-end.

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