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On the 3rd of August I'm off to Silchester, a Roman town, for the week.


It's an archaelogical course that sort of acts like a preparation and training for the University course I hope to start in September, pending grades, although it's not part of the actual course.


The place is a field school for the University of Reading, amongst others.


I shall be camping there, so therefore will have no internet access what so ever.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And I'm back. I had a bloody brilliant time there, everyone was decent and welcoming.


I had a bit of a panic actually getting there, as I missed my booked train by a minute (I got there as it was pulling away from the station sad.gif ), but I got there safe and sound.


It was a very interesting time, although it was the last week (I hadn't realised that tongue.gif) and the excavation was minding up. Still, I found loads of bits of pot and bone, and one copper-alloy stud which counts as a "small find". In Calleva (which is the Roman town), they're now onto the earliest Roman layer (40-60AD) and in places on to the late Iron Age, prior to the Roman invasion.


The good thing about arriving in the last week is the parties to celebrate the end of dig.


I've taken a load of pictures, mainly of the walls as I didn't want to risk my camera on the dig site because of the dust, which got everywhere, and because I'd probably drop it and break it. If anyone's interested, I can load up the pictures and put them in this thread.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some photographs from my time in Calleva Artebatum.

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My accommodation for the week. It wasn't too bad, held up properly during the high winds we had, although it moved a lot. Sadly, I was on a down hill slope with a large rock in the bottom of my back when lying down, so I didn't sleep that well all week tongue.gif

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The dig site itself. It's of the area I was working in, mainly scratching away wretched silt from a flint pebble surface. Wasn't that fun after a while. You can see the building fairly clearly. It runs from the ditch in the foreground (a drainage ditch for one of the Roman roads) in a pentagon shape. There is also a small sed (or annex as it was called) on the eastern side. They had a photo tower up, but I really didn't want to climb four metres on a rickety aluminium scaffolding construction.

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A picture of the main Roman road, which runs north to south. You can see the different layers of construction in it quite clearly.

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This one is better. You can see beam slots from some of the houses, and that large hole is a well. One of the reasons they think Silchester was abandoned was because there is no natural spring in the area (it's almost a small plateau), so the Romans had to dig loads of wells. After a while, these began to become too close to cesspits, and in the end there was no drinkable water on the site. So everyone buggered off. It's only a theory, but it seems reasonable when you actually look at the site and see how close the wells and cesspits are.

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"Tent town"

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Northern wall

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Northern gate in the 300s AD

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Northern gate in the 2000s AD

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I've got another few photos for you to digest. I shall put them up later. They ain't on the PC I'm on at the moment.


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More old wall, just to get across the height of the structure.

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A nice picture of the typical weather we had during the last week of the dig. The only day it was properly sunny was the first, and I got nicely sunburnt. On the last day, it pissed down and was very miserable and was therefore difficult to get the tent down.

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Lump of Ceramic Building Material lying on the ground on the southern wall.

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More wall, with plants growing on it.

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The southern gate.

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The local pub. Spent most nights there tongue.gif

Edited by Tagmatium Rules (see edit history)
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  • 1 year later...

Bit of a grave dig, but an applicable one.


From Sunday 6th of July I'm going to be away at the Silchester Field School once again, for four weeks this time, as I'm now going as part of my course. I may be back once every week on a Sunday, as this is the day we have off and I'll probably take advantage of it and use it to go home and do my washing, having a shower, etc.


I think I also explain my absence over the last few weeks, as it kind of leads into the above. Essentially, my second year at uni hasn't gone quite so well as planned. Basically, I failed it. This was primarily due to the fact that I got myself into a bad habit whereby I tended to ignore problems until it was too late for me to do anything about them, so I failed a few modules.


This meant that I was presented with two options. The first, and least drastic was to re-take the exams in late August and hopefully pass 'em and get into the third year that way. The other is to put a case before the sub-dean of the School of Sciences and try to get a chance to re-do the second year.


Either way, I've got to do Silchester for four weeks as part of my course.


This has presented me with some problems.


If I were to do the retakes, I'd have a handful of weeks after Silchester in which to do several pieces of coursework (mainly essays) and then do the exams, which the head tutor said that if I do this route, I'd essentially have to skip revision for the exams and concentrate entirely on the coursework, basically doing the exams blind, which I am loathe to do, for obvious reasons.

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