It’s the end of week 3 of excavation which means it’s time for another update!
This was a bank holiday monday so not much happened today. I wrote some blog posts and edited a video: all of which should be out by now so go check them out!
We’re back in the trench! Though it has poured with rain all day which is a downside. In the morning we were mainly just cleaning off the rubble (still) but things are starting to get moving and hopefully we should be able to see all the features soon. In the morning the weather wasn’t too bad but in the afternoon the heavens opened and we all had to hide for a little until it passed. We had a meeting about heritage plans and I spoke to my trench supervisor (Ian) about what we’re seeing at the moment. They’ll be a full post about current interpretation of Trench 9 sometime next week.
Excavation was called off today due to the weather! Usually Wednesday is an optional day anyway and doesn’t contribute towards assessment (most of the Archaeology course has the excavation as their assessment but us Heritage lot don’t) so it hasn’t made too much of a difference in terms of schedule. I spent my day working on blog posts, society stuff and I had an interview! Wish me luck!
Back in the muddy trench today. Started planning a feature in the trench which is difficult in the rain as it’s done with pencil and paper but then I got whisked away for some heritage tasks so luckily I didn’t have to struggle for too long! We worked on a booklet for children potentially visiting the site next week and poster for the public site tours. In the afternoon we got some filming done and took this majestic photo of me and Rose on the spoil heap (you can check out Rose’s blog at https://horribleheritage.home.blog/ ). You can view the activity sheet below but I will make a post with all available resources closer to the end of our course.
I had a great time today! Spend the morning trowelling and interviewing Caitlin the finds officer. Some of the stuff we’ve found is really amazing and I wish I could talk about it here but there’s rules about sharing things while it’s still on site so I might have to wait! We then spent the afternoon at the library planning and deciding what we’re doing for the public tours over the next week. A great end to the week. Shout out to Malton Library for letting us take over the corner of your floor.
That marks the end of week three! See you on monday for an exciting site interpretation post,
So I’ve talked a little about me and about what it’s like to work on the site so I guess it’s about time to talk about the site itself!
All the information for this post came from the University of York and if you wish to find out more then come along to Steve Roskam’s site tour on the 13th. Disclaimer: the excavation at Malton is ongoing and therefore anything that is said here it to the best of the departments knowledge and it may, in time, change due to new information.
Let’s start with the basics: where is Malton?
Malton is a small town on the river Derwent outside York. Most children in area will visit it at least once on a school trip because it is also home to ‘Eden Camp’: a prisoner of war camp turned interactive museum.
The site we are working on is known as ‘Orchard Fields’ and it is next door to the old lodge. The lodge is a 17th century tudor mansion that was once the gatehouse for larger building that stood behind it that doesn’t exist anymore. The story goes that the two sisters who inherited the building couldn’t agree on who got to own it and it was decided that they would split the building: literally. However what is more likely is that the sister’s sold the house because they had no use for it: either way the gatehouse is currently all that survives. You can find out more about the lodge here: http://www.theoldlodgemalton.co.uk/
Next door to the lodge is the large field known as ‘Orchard Fields’ which is the home of a Roman fort. If you know anything about Roman forts you will know that often what arises around them is a small town or village called a ‘vicus’ which would house all the non-military folk associated with the fort. This could be the wives and children of the soldiers, the merchants who made their clothes or even the retired military-men. These vicus exist around many major Roman forts across the UK. This is site that we are currently excavating on. You can learn more about that here: https://www.archaeology.co.uk/tag/roman-vicus
Our excavations focus is around the Roman road that led from the north into the fort as this seems to be where the vicus is centralised. We have trenches open on both sides of the road with the aim being to work out how the settlement changed as it got further away from that central point. Currently we’re not 100% sure what the time of occupation was but there seems to be some evidence that it was occupied during the 2nd century and possibly was still in use after the end of Roman occupation of Britain. You can find out more here: http://www.maltoncastlegarden.org.uk/history
Unfortunately, the site is under a farm and therefore has a lot of ploughing damage which is making it hard to diagnose so features at the moment. However by the end of this excavation period we should have a better idea of what some of them are and some interesting questions are already being raised about the nature of the site.
That’s about all we know for now. I would highly recommend coming along to the site tour next Monday if you can make it because it will go into the features we’ve found in much more depth. If you have any specific questions then please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them,