York – Week 8

Ah week 8…. the now infamous week….
Time Team

This week saw the creation of the new Time Team. OK not really. Phil Harding visited the site this week as part of a Time Team special on Vikings (out next year) which included the Hungate site. Having a film crew on site was really exciting and great fun for the trainees who were really encouraged by it. I have to admit that occassionally the filming can be a nuisance as noise had to be kept to an absolute minimum to avoid any disturbance to the microphones. This often meant the new skill of ‘imaginary trowelling’ had to be carried out to look as though you were doing something when in actual fact you were trowelling air. Yes…. tedious!

The crew worked well with everyone else though and there were no major bust ups! Meeting Phil was a highlight too – he’s such a lovely guy!

They filmed a lot inside HQ due to the vast amount of finds we had stored. The best had to be the antler.

Antler 1

For the sake of filming we laid out a table full of all the bits of antler that had come from Pitzilla. The pieces ranged from large often complete unworked antlers….

Antler 2

Through the various different stages of working……

Antler 3

And ended with some rather nice combs!

I started work on a smaller feature within Pitzilla this week with my two trainees, which looked to be a rounded pit with a possible wicker lining. The feature was uncovered after a very thorough clean up of the area after some very heavy rain.


The photo above shows the pit once it had been cleaned which revealed a number of features. The circular pit we started working on can be seen roughly in the centre of the photo, you can pick it out by following the browny wicker lining. A number of timbers were also uncovered at one end of the pit.

Although it was fun to excavate there often wasn’t enough room! The photo below shows my two trainees and myself excavating the pit whilst the time team crew film another two archaeologists revealing some timbers that were being lifted from the soil.

York 1

Once excavation really got underway the pit began to get much more exciting! The preservation levels were so high that there was a lot of organic material still surviving in the soil. Due to the good preservation we began to heavily sample. Green leaves, moss, nuts and seeds, and even some hair was found! As exciting as it was it was hard to ignore the horrific smell!

2 thoughts on “York – Week 8

  1. sacoharry

    Brilliant write-up. Glad to see the blog alive & kicking! That smell is something else, eh? I remember a few Vindolanda trenches like that a few years ago. “Gloop,” they called it. Fitting.

    1. archaeogirl Post author

      Hello again! Thanks, I had a bit too much of a break from blogging here! I blame it on my lack of a good internet access whilst in York. Now that i’m back at uni for an mlitt I have no excuse. Think of the hours of procrastination I can do on here…. 🙂

      The smell really is something. I had a few trainees over the weeks ask to be moved to another part of the site as it got too much for them. (Well they claimed it was the smell, it might have been my teaching!) In fairness just to the left of the cess pit was a lot of diesel contaminated soil so you were either getting a strong whiff of diesel or poo! Neither of which was very pleasant.

      Ah gloop…. There was plenty of that around in York. Tipping those sludge filled wheelbarrows onto the spoil heap did provide a rather satisfying noise…..


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