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Chester Amphitheatre Project Blog


Welcome to the official Blog of the Chester Amphitheatre Project.

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



Anonymous Anonymous said...

That’s a hell of a lot of clay pipes... how can they be explained?

12:38 PM, July 22, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jane H (Chester Archaeology)here to 'Anonymous going to UCL in September'. I've been on holiday for a couple of weeks which explains my silence but I hope you've heard from me since my return. If not, please do give me a call next week.

5:11 PM, July 22, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jane, yeah I got your email the other night!
Thanks for that, I'll see you next month! :)

5:33 PM, July 22, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, it's me again, I've been chatting to you on the other thread - I'm Susie, and I'm a mature student at the Uni of Liverpool.

The clay pipe pieces are the fag-ends of a bygone era! The pipes were sold with the bowl filled with tobacco, and were more or less disposable. They could be refilled, but broke quite easily and were easily discarded and replaced - but the fired clay they were made of survives very well in the archaeological record. They can even be used as dating evidence, if you find a piece with a maker's mark, or a bowl: the early bowls were very small as tobacco was rarer and more expensive.

I learned all that from last year's excavation!

6:24 PM, July 22, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi again Susie, cool so they’re like disposable pipes! Blimey, I never knew such a thing existed! So I am guessing they would’ve been smoked by the builders who were working on the site at the time or something? By the way, what is your username on the Time Team forum?

9:47 PM, July 22, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a lot of rubbish was dumped on the amphitheatre site over the years and centuries - no dustbin collection then! The broken pipes could have been discarded by workmen, or people who lived in houses on the site, or nearby, or could have been dumped with household rubbish from elsewhere in Chester. The finds are extremely mixed up - Roman pottery, pieces of pipe, later pottery, and the modern stuff like the milk bottle all in the same layer - so it's not going to be easy to work out just what has gone on there in the past.

My TT forum username is ooban - see the post on the thread under the "Roman Sword" heading.

11:22 PM, July 22, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That’s really interesting, do you think that those finds could have originally existed in like stratified layers and then at some point in the past they were all mixed up by some sort of digging and backfilling process? Can any of them be in their original contexts?

I’ve just been on the TT forum, but I haven’t registered on there yet – I will do that tonight when I get home as you need to respond to an email which gets sent out apparently. I played that little game though, the Time Detectives one, what was your score on that? :)

9:37 AM, July 23, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better ask the archaeologists on site about stratification, not me, a humble digger! But in Trench C last year we did find some clearly stratified contexts, and you can still see them in the section at the back when looking from the walkway - such as the pale grey rubbly layer which was interpreted as demolition rubble, possibly from alterations to Dee House. It was over what seemed to be small rectangular garden plots with edges which could have been dwarf box hedges. Have a look at the archives from 2003 somewhere on this site - Keith Matthews' records. But bits of Roman stuff - pottery and broken roof tiles - were in the garden soil, and underneath that, after I'd left, they found Civil War demolition rubble. Again I think there's something about it in the archives.

As for that game on the TT site, can't remember, it's so long since I did it, but I think I was pretty hopeless!

Might not have time to post anything more, either here or there, as I'm off to Turkey for a month on Monday morning. Enjoy your digging! If you're still there when I get back (24th August) I'll come down and see what progress has been made.

10:41 AM, July 24, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've resurrected my dig diary from last year to the top page of the TT forum if anyone's interested. All the comments etc. are my personal views and responsibility, not an official version of events or interpretation. Sadly the photo link doesn't seem to work any more and I won't be able to get it fixed before I go away.

Also I've been unable to view the webcam pics for a day or two - is the problem at my end or has it been offline?

11:12 AM, July 24, 2004  

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