The big news is that as of this week we have completed all of the archaeological tasks we have set out to do and then some. And as of yesterday, a large section of the arena wall was finally uncovered in Area B. The section of wall is around 3 or more meters high and perfectly preserved. The area of wall in Area B is much higher than those exposed arena walls that were uncovered by FH Thompson in the 1960s.
Even though today is our last day, we are soldiering on and are still excavating. There are several features still to study, including more pits in Area C (around the 'apprentice stone'). There has not been any scheduled excavation for next year, but the site will just be covered over for the winter (as it was last year) until interpretation, preservation and access questions are all answered.
It has been a wonderful season this year, with so many hard-working archaeologists, volunteers and students. We archaeologists feel very proud and thankful to have worked on such an interesting and prestigious site. We just wanted to say a few words about this season's excavation:
"What to say? It has been both a pleasure and a joy to work here. The people are great, the site too. It's been a really good introduction to archaeology, and taught me skills that'll hopefully be useful in the future. I can't say enough how thankful and grateful to everyone on site I am; they have been supportive and helpful throughout. I wish them all the best, and thanks!"
--Will Craige (student and volunteer)
"It has been a stupendous season, with a huge amount of new information recovered. It has also been enormous fun, and the weather has been kind all summer. Most of all we have had a superb team of professionals, students and volunteers. And I would like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to their hard work and enthusiasm, to thank them whole-heartedly, and to wish them all the best for the future."
--Tony Wilmott (Project Co-director, English Heritage)
"It's been fantastic working with great company and learning 'tricks of the trade' in the process. One of my reasons for moving to Chester was its amazing history and the amphitheatre has never ceased to amaze me. Being here has furthered my desire to do an archaeology postgraduate, because if it's this much fun being a 'volunteer', it must get better being here full time. Thanks for a great two weeks , and Trench 'C' is the best!"
--Kasia Phillips (volunteer)
"There(s) (was) lovely"
--Cheryl Quinn (Archaeological Draughtsperson, Chester Archaeology)
"This has been such a wonderful opportunity. From an outreach perspective it has been great talking with the public and working with them to understand the 'non-archaeological' perception of the whole project. But it has also been great working on an archaeological site with such amazing people. It has been a great experience--I have learned a lot and made friends as well."
--Marie Rowland (Outreach Assistant/Archaeologist)
"It was cool...and I'm tired."
--Clare Malleson (Environmental Assistant/Archaeologist)
"We drunk a little wine, listened to a bit of jazz and did some archaeology here and there..."
--Rob Blackburn (Site Assistant/Archaeologist)