Friday, July 28, 2006

Volunteers all

It was on another dig that the mutinous volunteers were offered a 5% increase in pay.
"You don't fool us," they said "5% of nothing is nothing! We want 10% or else."
That's my volunteer joke. I don't know any archaeological jokes. It's a very serious business down those holes.
Here are some of the unpaid volunteers. Sorry to those whose pictures I took but didn't include. Some of the film didn't come out properly. Probably because it was a digital camera.

The girls are not idling, but watching an excellent demonstration of the hazardous job of mattocking.

Julian Swinbourne the poet with the tools of his other trade.

Those yellow gloves are a wonderful safety feature when the weather is cloudy. We tried photographing the Roman pottery on them, but they outshone the finds too much, so we used a kneepad instead. (Can someone send a comment identifying what they are please?) Here are the details I asked for: clockwise from top left: Black Burnished, Severn Valley Ware, Samian Ware, Mortarium - all from 120 - 200 AD. They are from a dumped layer, so are unlikely to originate on the site, perhaps having been brought with the earth down the new canal to fill low-lying land. They were probably worried about this new-fangled canal flooding the site.

Lots of visitors turned out on Saturday for the celebrity appearance by Julian Richards, from BBC TV's Meet the Ancestors. Most of the volunteers were hard at work, but one or two found time to schmooze. I tried to get on Meet the Ancestors once, but they would only consider me for a part as one of the ancestors. As one volunteer said, meeting the in-laws was bad enough, never mind the ancestors.

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