Archaeology, Auckland castle, Binchester, Bishop Auckland, Britain, Café, England, English heritage, Heritage, History, Landscapes, Libraries, Nature, Roman Archaeology, Roman Binchester, Roman Britannia, Roman Empire, Shovelbum
Hello, people of the world wide web! Predictably, I have been unable to update this blog regularly. I do however have a legit excuse this time: since the beginning of the month I have been working on an archaeological dig in Bishop Auckland. I am currently taking part in the last season of excavation at Binchester Roman Fort, which has been renamed ‘the Pompeii of the North’ (or something along those lines) because of the beauty of its well preserved walls. I am unsure on how much I can publicly state about the dig itself and our finds, but I will tell you that I am handling a lot of animal remains (which is brilliant for an osteoarchaeology enthusiast such as myself). I do however invite you to take a look at the official excavation blog if you’re keen to find out more about the dig. So far it’s been a lot of fun, albeit very hard work indeed. I am starting to think that pretty much everyone else believes I am some sort of weirdo, since I am by far the one who takes the most interest in bones by photographing each and every one of them, and punctually take out my mammalian osteology book in order to identify the fragments. Regardless of my personal fortunes (or misfortunes), I would like to share with you some pictures I took on my way to the dig one day, as it truly is a beautiful bit of countryside just outside Bishop Auckland. The other day, I decided to stop by Bishop Auckland on my way back from the dig, and took the time to visit Auckland Castle once more. They are currently hosting an exhibition on the local football team, which might be interesting to those of you who are into football. However, I was mostly keen on spending time at their lovely café, which looks like the ideal place for you to pop in with a book and sip on a cup of coffee while enjoying these lovely interiors. I shall now leave you with a ‘humorous’ daily account of my archaeology experience at Binchester. Enjoy!
- Binchester, day one: I’m not lazy, I’m ‘in situ’
- Binchester, day two: ‘I am a glorified builder with a shovel in one hand and a mug of coffee in the other, searching for 2,000 year old rubbish’.
- Binchester, day three: ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love cobbles’.
- Binchester, day four: ‘This is my shovel. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My shovel is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my shovel is useless. Without my shovel, I am useless’.
- Binchester, day five: ‘I love the smell of clay in the morning…smells like victory’.
- Binchester, day six: ‘I dug. I dug until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I dug some more’.
- Binchester, day seven: ‘I have come here to chew bubble gum and dig. And I’m all out of bubble gum’.
- Binchester, day eight: ‘This is Binchester. I mean, if you don’t have a shovel in your hand, you might as well be wearing a dress’.
- Binchester, day nine: ‘You had me at <let me help you fill in those context sheets>’.