Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 3: Monday 18th

We woke up Monday morning to be greated by a day as bright and sunny as Sunday which pleased some and sent the others racing for their factor 50 suncream. We headed to site bright and early to continue the work that had been started the day before, with lots of new and exciting finds along the way.

Behind the standing monastery, we continued to look for the foundations of the monastery in two trenches. We had to slow down when we encountered human bones in both trenches which had been relocated in the past. After recording the bones we continued to excavate the trenches, looking for the ever elusive foundations. We had a few nasty interruptions in the form of swarms of midges appearing to drive us from the behind the shady wall and into the sunlight for a few brief respites.

We decided to dig a few more test pits in order to establish a good location for larger trenches to be placed in the hopes that they would reveal an earlier monastery. We found a few more pieces of pottery, flints, charcoal and glass and by the end of the day we had a good idea of where to dig the trenches!

Down at the boundary wall, the foundations revealed that the circular wall was constructed earlier than the straight field boundary as we’d suspected. Further exploration revealed that there was a ditch underlying both walls which was a surprise! Meanwhile, the trench placed to discover if the mound just inside the boundary wall was natural or manmade gave us a definitive answer - hitting bedrock told us that it was definitely natural! Perhaps not all that interesting archaeologically, but it was nice to have an answer rather than more questions for once!

While all of this was going on our planning team was busy recording everything on their carefully drawn plans! Just after lunch, we also had our first site tours (which will be running every Monday for anyone who wants to drop by!) giving us an opportunity to show off what we’ve been doing so far!

In the evening, Camille popped over to the Barn loaded down with old photographs. She gave us a history of Eigg which was great at it gave us some context for the work we’re doing. She also gave us a slideshow of photographs delving deep into the history of the islands. The photos ranged from interesting to funny, but they all gave us a lovely look at Eigg throughout history!

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