Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A Diggers Day No.14

I have had a s**t day today - literally. That pit I mentioned yesterday I found to have a clay lining. This normally means that it may be a grain pit, such as this one:
Mine is dug into clay, but it would have functioned in the same way. The clay lining keeps out water and the cap keeps out air, so the grain produces carbon dioxide which kills any microscopic bugs and thus the grain goes into stasis ready for future use.

However, my clay lined pit had cess in the bottom:

The flints are in the fill of the enclosure ditch that cuts the pit.

So it could have been used to get rid of human waste. Although it may have been used for grain previously (one hopes it was this way around!). There was a lot of charcoal flecks mixed in. I took a sample so that the boffins may find out what our I/A farmers were eating 2,500 years ago. So my pit was more interesting than I first thought. The last time I dug a cess pit was in London and I found half a dozen of these:
These are called Albarellos and as the name suggests (the AL is arabic) they are from the middle east. They were imported into a London in the mid 1350s. No such luck in finding whole pots in my cess pit this time, although I did find this nice rim:

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