28 June 2010
As we finished our final day’s excavation this week things continue to turn up in the main town trench.
An iron chisel was found lying next to the furnace while the decorated bone handle of a knife was found adjacent to this feature.
Our priority in this trench will be clarify the form and function of the back gable in the house partially revealed in this trench and assess the earlier stratigraphic features that have shown up. The busy job of producing the final record sheets and drawings will also get underway on Monday.
Another busy day at the start of next week then as another 35 children show up from a Portstewart primary school to spend the day with us. Torrential showers are forecast for late morning so the kids have been warned to bring wet gear!
While finishing the recording in the main castle trench Cormac McSparron made an interesting discovery. Preserved in section at the base of one of the trenches was a very thin medieval layer less than 5cm in thickness that overlay the bedrock. We are going to expose more of this feature on Monday in the hope of retrieving any dating evidence. Two nails of possible medieval form were recovered on Friday from this deposit.
Further work next week includes the excavation of a number of small test trenches around the old church at Dunluce. There are a collection of earthworks in one field which are especial interest and these will be targeted to see if anything of interest in buried beneath the surface.
On Saturday Brian Williams from NIEA led a large group from the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society around the site. This proved to be a highly informative event with many of the participants making interesting comments about the structures and buildings across the landscape.
Monday then marks the beginning of the final week’s work. Lets hope it is a productive one!
Colin Breen is a Senior Lecturer in Maritime Archaeology at the University of Ulster.