St Marys Headland, Seaham,Co.Durham, UK
Archaeological Dig - August 1999
Day 6 - Monday 23th August 1999

Weather Forecast Until Thursday
Monday Tuesday

Although we have set out local weather predictions above don't bet your house on this being the pattern. 

08:30. Trench A now has no exposed skeletons.  They have been taken to the laboratory.  However, there are believed to be other skeletons still to be discovered in this trench. The programme for today includes careful recording of the various features in Trench A including the levels at which each skeleton was found and the nature of the ground beneath and around it. This having been completed by taking photographs and making drawings the diggers will then work to expose other skeletons and to find out if any are buried beneath those which have already been removed.
Jenny Parker from Durham joined the team today.  She reckons she was coerced but seemed keen enough anyway. Welcome to Dig'99 Jenny.

Trench A. Jim records details of the grave from which
skeleton B1 was removed

Update:The metal objects which were found close by skeleton B1(see Day 4)have been sent for non-destructive testing by X-ray before any attempt is made to remove earth or corrosion.
Further Update: Liz & Lyn announced that they had both passed their A-Level Archaeology Examinations.
Good grades too - both got a 'B' grade. Not bad for only about 25 hours tuition. Congratulations girls.

09:30. Trench D: Jo and Trevor have uncovered what is probably a water feature (fountain?). Whatever it turns out to be it does not seem to be ancient but probably dates back to the time of the Londonderrys.  Does anybody out there know of the existence an old pond or fountain we'd be glad to hear from you. 
15:00Trench D: The pebbles have been removed and Jo & Trevor record essential details. The blur on Trevors left have arises from anattempt to hide a cigarette lest his wife should ever see this web page.
A white line has been added (lower left) to indicate more clearly the circular nature of the feature.
15:30.Trench A. Fiona has uncovered two separate skeletons to the south side of  skeleton C1. In the corner there are some bones (not shown in the picture) and about 1.5m north of them a skull which is clearly not part of the same body. The scratch mark in the earth indicate the probable postion of the grave wall. It is obvious that the burials here are positioned very close together.  It is also clear that the absence of Fiona's Tibetan hat is proving to be some kind of good luck charm though as yet no one understands the significance of this. 

16:15. Its getting late in the day now but Lyn (not to be outdone by Fiona minus her Tibetan hat) has just uncovered another skull.

Trench A. Lyn (kneeling) has just revealed a skull.
 Liz, who has worked alongside her all day, drops her 
head in disbelief.  Can it be true that wearing a hat is
a jinx? We don't think so. Bet Liz still wears it tomorrow.

Joking aside the finding of the skull had a profound effect on Lyn.  We'll let her describe it in her own way:

"I was so chuffed today to find the skull, but I felt a little sad to realise it was so small it had to belong to a child. It certainly took the gloss off the feeling of satisfaction - not only had I found something but had even recognised it as of importance! - it humanises the whole scenario in a way and makes it all seem real. There were families out there etc."

Tomorrow promises to be a productive day in terms of exposing more skeletons but will anything else be revealed?  There appears to be no evidence of anything but burials using a shroud rather than a coffin?  Will the bottom half of skeleton B1 be found in a neighbouring grave? Tomorrow will be a fine day for digging.

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