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Chester Amphitheatre Project Blog

Welcome

Welcome to the official Blog of the Chester Amphitheatre Project.

Friday, July 30

Dig Diary

Hello everyone!

For our first posts what we are going to do is relay our diary that is published weekly in the local Chester Chronicle newspaper.

We thought it would be a good idea for those not fortunate enough to live close to the action, or are unable to get the paper.

So here is the diary that was published a couple of weeks ago, it was actually witten for the week beginning 12/07. We'll post the latest edition in the next few days.

Well it’s been an eventful week down at the excavations. Anyone wandering past the site last Tuesday or Wednesday would have noticed an 8.5 meter high scaffold tower being put up and taken down with great aplomb. You may even have seen one or two worried looking characters at the top clinging to the handrail with one hand and rattling off photographs with the other. This was all aimed at getting some good birds eye views of the excavations at the end of our first months digging. In summary much of our efforts to date have concentrated on the re-excavation of the area close to the arena wall that was partially investigated in the 1960’s, and the removal of 19th and 20th century garden soils from the trench being excavated adjacent to St. John’s church.

Saturday marked the advent of
National Archaeology Day, which this year was held at the amphitheatre. Those of you brave enough to weather the torrential rain (or optimistic enough to believe that it couldn’t last) would have been treated to a range of entertainments including guided tours of the excavations by an archaeologist, displays of some of the more interesting artefacts already recovered from the excavations and a range of activities for all the family in the blue and white stripped marquee tent. The crowning attraction was of course our troop of gladiators who with the aid of gallons of theatrical blood recreated some of the more gory spectacles likely to have taken place in Chester’s arena. It was actually rather disturbing to note how many of our mild mannered visitors (young and old) rapidly descended into a frenzied mob baying for the blood of the defeated combatants – have we really changed that much?

Those of you crossing the walkway on Sunday would have seen three rather exhausted looking archaeologists chipping away at one of three large tree stumps in the trench by St. John’s church. Although, this is a pursuit not often associated with archaeology these stumps are in the way of our excavations and need to be removed carefully to limit the disturbance to the underlying remains (and no, a JCB isn’t the right tool for the job!) – So one down, two to go!

Till next time keep watching the developments on our web-cam.

Dan & Tony



Hope you enjoyed our first post, we hope to bring you lot's more over the coming months!




posted by Archaeologists at 16:33

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A couple more updates

We've just added a couple more bits of interesting information.

This weeks "Find of the Week" has been added. It's an antler bone comb, found in a medieval cess pit from Area A.

And speaking of Area A, there's been a lot of information about the actual Amphitheatre walls that have now been uncovered in that area of the site, added to the Excavation Areas section.

posted by Anthony at 16:24

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Wednesday, July 28

Lots to tell!

A days worth of updates have just been uploaded to the site. Including:

A complete overhaul of the non-invasive survey section, due to the addition of lots of results and conclusions! The geophysics is the most detailed (needing it's own results page), but the others are also well worth looking at, like the aerial survey and cartographical survey.

Also added are two new finds images. One is a much more detailed image of the sword handle, the other is an image of a new find - part of a bronze spoon used to apply Roman makeup!

There is information on the new guided tours around the amphitheatre site, where you are taken around the work by one of the actual archaeologists who have been doing the work on the site.

And on top of all that Issue Three of the newsletter has also been released, and is ready to be downloaded!

Phew.

posted by Anthony at 16:30

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Friday, July 23

Addresses

I'd just like to bring to your attention the proper address for the Chester Amphitheatre Project website, because there are loads of different combinations - some which won't work as well as others.

The main address we use for promotions is www.chesteramphitheatre.co.uk this is just an easy to remember media friendly address. It links directly too...

http://www.chester.gov.uk/amphitheatre/index.html - this is the proper address to use really and is the direct link to the main page of the site.

These are the two addresses that you should use for accessing the site, or if you are telling people about the site etc etc.

You might notice that you end up at a few variations, which are 'legacy' addresses from the past. When the site was first launched it was at www.chestercc.gov.uk/heritage/archaeology/amphitheatre/index.html - a mouthfull if ever there was one! So we moved to the current position. Unfortunately people discovering the site through Google are still directed here.

There are a couple of problems with this:

First, although there is a version of the site there, it isn't up to date at all...

and...

Second, we are in the process of phasing out the chestercc.gov.uk domain in favour of just chester.gov.uk, and it will stop working in the not too distant future!

So basically if you are visiting, or linking to, us make sure you use either www.chesteramphitheatre.co.uk or www.chester.gov.uk/amphitheatre/index.html

Thank You!

posted by Anthony at 14:57

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Thursday, July 22

Lots of finds!

Just a few things to inform you about.

First is the bumper stack of finds photos that have been added on to the the finds section. Some very interesting objects, such as musket balls, Samian Ware and milk bottles!

You may have noticed the camera has been moving about a bit over the last week. It was moved over the weekend to cover the action at National Archaeology Day, then on Monday we moved it back to look over Area A. It's now looking slighltly more towards the Little St. John Street end of the Site to give a better view of the work in that area.

posted by Anthony at 09:36

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Saturday, July 17

Roman Sword!

The most exciting find yet has been posted into the finds section: a part of a bone handle from a Roman sword. The sword is the first of it's type to be found in Chester, and was the kind Roman Soldiers carried. The fact that it was found in the Amphitheatre is very interesting, and offers up some interesting possibilities as to how it came to rest there. 
 
Also there are updates with some more photographs from the site, taken from a new viewing platform the archaeologists are using.
 
And there is a lot of information regarding tomorrows exciting National Archaeology Day event at the Amphitheatre and Chester Visitor Centre.

posted by Anthony at 03:07

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Tuesday, July 13

Images of finds!

Thought you would like to know we have just posted up the first images of finds from the site.

The photographs are of three coins ranging from around 1247, back to around AD341-346 - the time of Emperor Constantius II.

posted by Anthony at 09:29

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Wednesday, July 7

Finds and Trench information

Issue Two of the Amphitheatre Newsletter has been released and is available for download.

With it comes updates on what's happening in the trenches, and what has been found at the site so far.

Hopefully this will help give you a better picture of what is happening on the site at the moment.

posted by Anthony at 10:47

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Tuesday, July 6

More updates... and apologies

There are more photographs of the work so far to look at. These include some closer images of the work in Area A, and the first picture of the work that has just started in Area B.

We have also added a map to the webcam page which shows the current viewing angle in relation to the Site and it's home at the Chester Visitor Center.

A couple of people who have posted comments here have asked some very reasonable questions, which we are gathering the information for, but please bear with us...

The archaeologists still haven't got a direct internet link and, as I'm sure you can appreciate, it is a very busy time for them. But we are working hard to bring you more up to date news (and answers) as soon as we can!

We can only apologise and promise that when we do get news the website will be the place to find it.

posted by Anthony at 16:02

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