We (AOC archaeologists Graeme, Charlotte, Alan and Jake) arrived on site on Monday and began deturfing and preparing for the arrival of volunteers today. Work is continuing more rapidly now, with the heat-shattered stone of the mound contrasting clearly with the soft, brown soil that fills the central depression. As we progress we hope to discover the remains of some sort of tank or pit in the centre.
We are conducting a series of informal experiments alongside the excavations. Yesterday we created two hearths, digging two shallow pits which we lined with gravel and surrounded with flattish stones. Nearby we dug small rectangular pits, and today we lined one of these with planks to replicate the form of numerous excavated examples. We heated around a dozen small river boulders in the fire and dropped them into the water-filled tank. The water temperature quickly rose to around 50 degrees centigrade. Not quite boiling, but we’ll try again tomorrow, and eventually we’ll attempt to cook a haunch of venison!