Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Gambling soldiers?

Today, John declared, was better than sliced bread because... We found four dice which appear to be made from bone, each just 7mm across, AND an Elizabeth I copper halfpenny, minted 1601!
The 4 dice found when sieving (by Dermot, Emily, Sean and John S)
The Elizabethan halfpenny with a harp and crown and a shield on the reverse (the 2nd of two coins from the site - both found by Sean)
Not only did we find these five fabulous objects we also found a very small tobacco pipe bowl - the smallest any of us on the site have ever come across - and possibly 16th century in date.
We are now below the burials which we have provisionally dated to the 17th-century based on the finds and stratigraphy. The discovery of the 1601 coin and early pipe bowl below these would allow us to suggest that we are potentially in the earliest phase of English settlement and conquest of the town under Henry Docwra. We know he set up camp around the ruins of the monastery. Perhaps the discovery of these finds along with the dice could be from gambling soldiers stationed in the fort..??

And just to round off the day, we found part of a wall - could it be part of the remains of the Augustinian monastery....??
Stuart excavating the remains of the wall
Three classes from the Long Tower Primary School visited us today as did Mark Patterson along with the newly appointed bishop, The Rev. Pat Storey. Mark recorded a couple of interviews to go out on air tomorrow and for his FaceBook page (follow the link for the footage).


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