Today is gonna be a quick one because I ended up missing half the day due to not feeling great when I woke up. Made it in for the afternoon though!
Post-excavation finds processing involves a lot of different elements such as working out what kind of artefact it is, sorting everything by context and working out how best to preserve it. However, by far the most time consuming task is washing. This is where the finds from each context bag (that are filled on site) are washed with water and a toothbrush. They are then labelled (as a group, in this case we kept them in labelled trays, see the photos below) and taken away for further processing and storage.
Although this seems like a straightforward task there is some things that can complicate the process. For example you need to make sure that the item you’re looking at is suitable for water cleaning. Things like metal, wood and charcoal need to be cleaned in a specialised manor specific to their makeup. Most of what gets cleaned (especially from a Roman dig) is pot sherds but you will also get some CBM (ceramic building material), bone and other items. You will also come across the occasional stone that has been added by accident.
That’s all I have for finds processing. If you’re interested in this kind of thing you can see the video I made with Caitlin our finds officer in a previous post (it’s worth checking out she’s great).
See you next time,