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Chester Amphitheatre Project Blog


Welcome to the official Blog of the Chester Amphitheatre Project.

Monday, July 31

The Latest News from the Trench ...

Last week the bottom of the Roman cess-pit was finally reached. We were not able to excavate the whole pit as it disappears under the edge of our excavation trench and underneath the adjacent public highway. However, we have wet sieved all of the fills we have removed from the pit, and we are still sorting through the drying residues for all manor of artefacts and ecofacts. This process is proving to be highly rewarding as we are retrieving large amounts of fish bone and some intact coprolites. We are also finding some really small objects such as individual iron chain links from a mail shirt and a finely carved intaglio.

The bulk of the work has involved the removal of the remaining deposits associated with the cavea (seating bank) of the first amphitheatre. Due to the really hot and dry weather we’ve been having for the past few weeks this is proving a very arduous task as the clay is baked solid. Very few artefacts have been recovered from this exercise to date.

The area of the site where the footprints have been discovered has been temporarily covered over for short term protection as we are hoping to have the footprints and animal tracks recorded by laser scanning. We are hoping to be able to show you the results from this work on the website later in the summer.

posted by Cheryl Quinn at 10:21



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Approximately how big was this cess-pit, and what proportion of it have you been able to excavate? Big enough for a single dwelling, several houses, the amphitheatre, half the city...? And who will have the jolly job of examining the coprolites - and do they still pong?

5:12 PM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger Cheryl Quinn said...

The cess pit is about 4m in diameter, but we have only been able to excavate approximately one third of it (assuming that it is in fact circular). It is more than large enough for a single dwelling, but it is also the third cess-pit of this date that has been discovered on the periphery of the amphitheatre, which leads us to believe that they were intended to serve spectators at the amphitheatre.

The coprolites don't 'still pong' we have observed that they contain small fragments of animal bone which suggests that they are probably derived from a dog rather than a human - possibly an animal scavenging in the cess-pit?

10:11 AM, August 02, 2006  

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