2010 Field Season – Black Friary Day 14 (25-Jun-10)

Blog by Emma Lagan, Hofstra University, New York (delegated by Fin!)

Our house, in the middle of our street

So yesterday had us working in the drizzle for a little bit, for the first time in a while.  It was actually quite refreshing being in rain gear and working in the slight rain.  I don’t know if everyone else had the same impressions, but I think it was relatively a general consensus seeing as Fin wanted to herd us into the back of the Caravelle to hide from the rain, but we all objected.  So yeah, that was that.

I’m working in Cutting two, and it was a lot of finishing of plans and starting of excavation.  We finally have our fourth feature, which is a layer of stony tumble.  It’s very thick on the south-western quadrant of the cutting, and then kind of tapers off as it goes North.  Fin says this is most likely because the wall tumbled off to one side and just kind of fell down the slope.  On the eastern bit of the wall, it is fairly straight and obviously created that way (archaeologists love unnaturally straight lines).  While originally we thought that it was in situ, we have discovered that it is slanted and the rocks are placed incorrectly for this to actually be the case.

So Sam (female Sam) and Jessica were working on excavating south east corner of the wall yesterday.  Sam (male Sam) and I were working on two different sections but both looking for the same type of inclusion which wound up to just be our fourth feature layer. Ryan and Kieran and Barbara worked on planning various bits.

Cutting one is all the way up to feature eight at this point.  They’re reckoning is that the chunk of rubble is actually what remains of a staircase.  They also have another bit of wall and they’re working on either side of it, in actual trenches, where we have still barely scraped the surface.  They’re wall seems to line up with what Fin sees as an outline of the chapel, which is exciting, whereas our wall doesn’t necessarily, which is worrisome.  But that’s okay, because wall crumbles and such and then there’s the fact that some of the stones were actually taken and sold.

I can’t believe that we only have four days left in Black Friary for this half of the season.  It feels like we’ve come so far…especially since I’ve been able to see it grow from day one, when Fin, Steve, Erin and I were all swimming through the grass just to get out to that bit of rubble that we first called rocky-outcrop.  So much more has been exposed since then, and I can’t wait until we come back in say, ten years, and get to see what has happened to the site in that time period (as far as progress goes).

We’ve had a couple bits of medieval era pottery found along with recent bits and lots of other small fragments of “stuff.”

Let’s hope to find lots more in the next four days of digging!


About Irish Archaeology Field School

The Irish Archaeology Field School (IAFS) is Ireland’s leading provider of university accredited, site based archaeological research and training. Our archaeological and heritage programs include research projects in a number of locations in Ireland, including in Co. Wexford and Co. Offaly (with satellite schools frequently undertaken elsewhere). We provide credited and uncredited programs (and internships) for novice and experienced students, and also specialise in the preparation of purpose-built faculty led programs incorporating excavation, historical research, remote sensing, non-invasive survey, ground investigation, landscape assessment etc. Whilst our programs are excavation-centered and aimed primarily at students of archaeology, anthropology and history, courses are open to all, and are guaranteed to give you an enriching and thoroughly worthwhile study abroad adventure.
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