Spent the morning assembling a sieve for use on the excavation which starts on Monday. It is a sieve with a 5mm mesh, essential for recovering the smaller pieces of flint from the ploughsoil and other contexts.
The design is ingenious and is based on a ‘rocker’ mechanism. The sieve mesh is mounted in a frame where the long sides have gently curving lower edges (a bit like a sleigh). This unit sits into a table-like frame on legs. The sieve can then be easily rocked from one or both ends, taking some of the effort out of the process. I look forward to testing it out, it should help to boost our finds tally.
I think a similar design was used on the Bective Excavations Project last year – so they have no unfair advantage! Thanks to Liam for developing the sieve from ‘concept’ stage to a working reality!
We will also be using another sieve (we will be opening more than one trench) which will be based on a more conventional ‘suspended’ design. Big thanks to Emmet for designing, constructing and delivering that one. It will be interesting to compare performance of the two.
I have been told that there may be an element of competition between two of the IAFS projects: the Rossnaree Archaeological Project and the Bective Excavations Project. Both digs are scheduled to start on Monday 5th July for four weeks each. A book has been opened on the number of trenches, the square meterage opened, the number of finds recovered, the best find recovered…
The Rossnaree Project is starting at a distinct disadvantage as the Bective Excavations Project has already been running for a full season already. However, we’ll see what happens!