Stuart showing the site to local traffic wardens
We cleaned back the trench and took a series of record shots with the telescopic pole. We also made a plan of the site and took pre-excavation photographs of each of the grave cuts - diving in and out of the site hut several times when serious showers passed through.
In the afternoon we started to excavate the burials. The fills of the cuts have yielded some small fragments of window glass, clay pipe stem fragments, animal bone, bits of mortar and brick, occasional marine shells and some fragments of pottery all of which indicates that we are still in post-plantation levels.
Two of the burials mid-excavation.
Stuart started to excavate one of the skeletons at the northern edge of the trench and where he expected to find the skull he instead found the feet - the skeleton was aligned west-east in contrast to all the other burials so far exposed. Reputedly priests, ministers and bishops were buried with their head in the east so that on Judgement Day they would rise and face their congregation - perhaps we have the remains of a bishop or priest?
Burials during excavation - the west-east burial is to the right of the photo, and the double burial towards the centre
We also started to excavate the double burial. One of the skeletons appears to be smaller and more gracile suggesting that we may have a man and women (husband and wife?). All of the skeletons we started to uncover today are of adults.
The sieving continues - Billy and John, two of the volunteers, sieving away