Today is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. This makes it all the more poignant that we are working on a Second World War site, a war that was very much the result of the first. However, such an anniversary didn't slow down the work and it began with the continuing recording left over from Friday, as Ant and Rob finished off their drawing in sondage 4.
Meanwhile, Dickie and Jonathan removed the rest of the remains in sondage 2, to try and find the natural bedrock. It was proving to be rather elusive! It may just be that the buried soil is deeper in this part of the site.
Ant and Rob continued their recording by filling in context sheets for each and every archaeological context in the sondage. This has to be carried out and is incredibly important as it is the only record we have of the archaeology once it is removed from the ground. Each sheet records a different context, jargon for each individual deposit in the ground. So in this instance, the bricks are a separate context, the clinker path is another, the sandstones yet another, etc. These are given an individual number and described on the sheets for the later report writing.
Whilst this work continued we started clearing the topsoil off the third hut base (number 8 in our numbering system). This will be the last one we will look at this season.
The sondages around hut base 6 were all being finished, Martin and Helen removed the clinker path and sandstone kerb down onto the buried soil.
When they had finished the sondage was photographed for the last time and recorded.
When Ant and Rob had finished recording sondage 4, they excavated the small post hole we had noticed on the edge of the steps, driven through the clinker surface. This looked like a root, but was probably the hole left from a sign post outside the hut entrance. Possibly to denote which unit was barracked there. However, without the actual post, this is impossible to verify, but it's a nice story!
By the end of the afternoon, Dickie and Jonathan had finished their work in sondage 2, so this little trench was photographed and recorded as well.
And shirt button number five made its appearance today, it came from the clinker pathway in sondage 4, it seems that the men in that particular hut were good at losing buttons!
So we have finished three of the sondages around hut base 6 and are well under way with the other two on hut base 7, with the topsoil being cleared off from hut base 8. This week will be busy, but all the work will be done by Friday.