2007 English lores

Information about 2007 English lores

Published on February 13, 2008

Author: Hillary

Source: authorstream.com

Content

Slide1:  Open Day Free handout Slide2:  The Project Directors Adrian Popescu Adrian worked for the Institutul de Arheologie “Vasile Pârvan” in Bucharest, and now works for the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge. Adrian originally worked at Noviodunum in 1990, and obtained his PhD studying the coins from the site in a regional context. At Noviodunum Adrian is again studying the coins as well as providing specialist advice on the finds and the site. Tim Sly Tim works for the Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton and specialises in medieval archaeology, surveying and computing. At Noviodunum he has undertaken the detailed topographic survey of the site as well as over-seeing the computing. Kris Lockyear Kris is a lecturer in archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He specialises in the archaeology of the later Roman Empire, Roman coinage and field techniques. At Noviodunum he has carried out much of the photography and geophysics, and also runs the field survey. Slide3:  The survey (topographic and detail) of Noviodunum was started in the first season (2000) using a Leica Total Station and a very small team – the three directors and two students (one from Southampton, one from UCL). The survey was continued in following seasons (2002 and 2003) and was completed in 2004, using multiple Leica Total Stations. Data from the Total Stations is downloaded and processed using the Liscad software; further processing is then undertaken using the following software: AutoCAD, CorelDRAW and ArcGIS. The survey now consists of over 37,000 discreet points and has revealed the fascinating topography of the site, with feature dating from the Roman period to almost the present day (mud brick huts). The survey has been particularly useful in revealing the strategic nature of the site over the last 2000 years, with military features dating from the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and later periods. In subsequent seasons additional surveys were undertaken of Ottoman Turkish forts; one in the orchards above Noviodunum and one on the far side of Isaccea – in addition to the one within the Roman fort of Noviodunum. Also in recent seasons high accuracy Leica RTK GPS has been used to locate the site and other sites within the wider landscape. Surveying Whenever possible we undertake geophysical survey before undertaking excavation. This is so we have some idea of what is below the ground before we start digging. At Noviodunum we have undertaken resistance survey where we pass an electrical current through the soil and measure its resistance. We can make a map of the readings. The figure shown to the right clearly shows part of the walls of the fortress, and this enabled us to place our trench exactly on the entrance through the wall. Slide5:  Noviodunum Archaeological Project 2007 First the site is cleared of vegetation and topsoil by workers with mattocks. This takes us to the top layer of occupation, seven hundred years ago in the late Byzantine period. Trenches are dug in the site based upon geophysical data (using electronic devices to look below the ground for walls) to see where the interesting archaeology is. When features in the ground (eg. pits) are excavated, we draw and measure them accurately, and work out their exact depth with a total station (shown left).We give all the pits separate numbers (context numbers) so that the things we find in them can be separated and interpreted. We then clean the site with trowels to make all the pits, walls, and other archaeology clear. Although cleaning dirt and soil seems strange it is an important part of excavation. Clean soil means we can see where to dig, as you can see by the photo on the right where everything is visible. Area 3 Between Telita and Posta we are digging a third 10x10m trench in order to examine the trade connections between Noviodunum and the rural settlements around it. The site was field-walked last Easter and the surface finds suggested it would be a good site to excavate. To our surprise we have discovered stamped military tiles and lots of imported amphorae and so it looks likely this is a military site. The site itself dates from c. AD 100 – 700 and c. AD 1000 – 1200. These are Roman and Late Byzantine periods. Excavation Area 1 is a settlement site where there is evidence of food preparation and rubbish dumping, and large storage spaces such as the dolium, a pot as big as a person. We also have part of the defences of the late Roman fortress. Area 2 is a cemetery with many skeletons being found from the late Byzantine period. Area 3 is a new excavation on a probable 2nd century military site between the villages of Telita and Posta. Slide6:  Small Finds includes, for example : BUILDING MATERIALS (stamped tiles) STONE (architectural fragments) POTTERY (stamped/special marks) METAL OBJECTS (coins/jewellery) GLASS (decorated and vessels) WORKED BONE Finds Processing Finds Processing is the stage immediately following excavation, where objects of all types found during digging or sieving are assembled into SMALL FINDS or BULK FINDS, and then cleaned and recorded prior to examination and/or conservation if required. Small Finds Small Finds are individual objects or fragments of an artefact which has characteristics or features that can provide dating or other information useful to understanding specific aspects of the site being excavated. Bulk Finds Bulk Finds are objects often found as fragments in large quantities during excavation or field walking. They will not usually be individually as informative as Small Finds but remain an important source of analytical information. Bulk Finds includes, for example: POTTERY KILN FURNITURE FLINT AND BURNT FLINT ANIMAL BONE CERAMIC BUILDING MATERIAL IRON NAILS SLAG MUD BRICK DAUB GLASS (fragments) Decorated bone handle Ceramic net sinker Roman glass fish head Roof tile with grafitti of feet Slide7:  Conservation Conservation at Noviodunum is primarily concerned with the stabilization and preliminary investication of finds. Treatment enables the extraction of data in order to further research and understanding of the object as well as the site. We aim to prevent the further deterioration of the excavated material in addition to cleaning selected objects to reveal surface information and in preparation for display For example, copper alloy coins have been found in all areas of the site. It is important for these to be conserved as they can help to date the layers from which they were excavated and contribute to the understanding of the sequence of the site as a whole. Conservation Process for Coins When a copper alloy coin is excavated, the original surface is no longer visible as it is concealed by a layer of green corrosion products. This is occurs as the copper reacts with oxygen and moisture to form corrosion products which obscure the surface with a thick layer of oxides, often bright green in colour. A conservator removes this corrosion to reveal the original surface of the coin in order to identify and date it. This can be done in several ways. It is very important that the coins are stored in the right conditions after they have been cleaned to protect them. They are kept in a sealed container that maintains an environment of low relative humidity. This ensures a minimal quantity of moisture with which the newly exposed copper may react, and helps to prevent the formation of additonal corrosion products. Where x-ray facilities are not available, coins can be mechanically cleaned. The conservator uses a scalpel and stiff brushes to excavate through the layers of corrosion. If the coin is too fragile for this method it can be chemically cleaned to attain the diagnostic information, though this is a much more unreliable and damaging treatment method. Once the original surface is revealed, the coin is treated with corrosion inhibitors and oxygen barriers to prevent further deterioration. Slide8:  Information Technology Digital Images Many of the photographs that we take are digital. We photograph a lot of small finds as well as taking pictures of the excavation, and all of these images are archived. Many are added to the IADB so that they can be referred to at a later date. Slide9:  Product Botanical – barley, wheat, rye, peas, lentils and grapes and many other species have been recovered. This helps develop a picture of diet and how the landscape was cultivated in the past and how it differs from today. Fig 3 shows peas and cereals recovered from a dolium. Faunal –bones from wild and domesticated animals have been found, including deer, cattle, boar, dogs, cats, sheep and huge numbers of fish. The levels and types of fish and cattle bones indicate that food processing and preparation occurred on site. Some boar were very large, see tusks in Fig 4. Human - many human skeletons have been unearthed in area 2 and, like other remains, these must be processed. Once they have been cleaned they get studied and there are 3 main areas to be looked at (Fig 5). Age - from bone fusion and wear on the teeth: Sex - from pelvis and skull features: Pathology - from signs of bone healing and diseases. Environmental Analysis AIM PROCESS PRODUCT Aim To answer some key questions: What was the diet and the economy like at the fort? What was the environment and landscape like around the site? Process Flotation (Fig 1) – a process by which water is pumped through soil samples taken from site to separate organic material. The organic material floats to the surface for collection and the inorganic sinks to the bottom. Sorting (Fig 2+3)–floated organic material is separated into categories for analysis, such as seeds, charcoal and bone. Augering – this process enables samples of natural deposits to be taken by drilling deep into the earth while avoiding destructive excavation. Magnets – using a magnet over a sample can identify iron hammerscale fragments and this can tell us the type of metalworking taking place on site. 1 2 3 4 5 Slide10:  Several human skeletons have been found during the excavation. Detailed study of the bones tells us how old the people were when they died, and whether they were well-nourished in life. We can also establish whether they suffered from diseases like arthritis or tuberculosis, or had bones broken during their life. Excavation of the cemetery may allow us to learn something about family and social structure and the religious beliefs of the people who lived here, for example, by looking at the position of the burial and grave goods. Human Bone Analysis Slide11:  One aim of the archaeological research at Noviodunum is to look at how people living at the site got food from animals. Although they clearly maintained domesticated herds, did they supplement their diet by hunting? Domestic or Wild? We can answer these questions by carefully examining the animal bones we excavate and by measuring them. Wild animals are usually much larger than their domestic counterparts. This is because there is competition for survival and the bigger they are, the more likely they are to survive. In particular male animals in a wild population are much bigger than females. Domesticated animals don’t need to compete for food or for mates because humans feed and protect them and select their mating partners, which leads to an overall decrease in size. Using callipers, we measure certain features on the bones which can indicate how big the animal is. We try to measure bones that are a similar size in fully grown males and females. We can then look at the range of sizes and in particular see whether two groups – wild and domesticated - are apparent. At present we are examining pig and cow, since their bones are common on the site. Look at the photographs here: each set of bones are the same, but one of each pair is clearly bigger than the other. Which are most likely to belong to a wild animal? In an early excavation at Noviodunum the presence of wild boars (Sus scrofa) and wild aurochs (cattle -Bos primigenius) in a medieval assemblage was indicated. They have also been identified in material from Roman Telita-Amza and prehistoric Luncaviţa in the Tulcea county area. Bos primigenius is now extinct. Slide12:  Field-walking Noviodunum did not exist in isolation but was supplied with food and goods from both its local hinterland and the rest of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. The relationship between the site and the wider world is one of the areas of interest for the Project. At Easter and in the early autumn the Project undertakes field-survey in the area around Noviodunum including the territories of Isaccea, Niculiţel, Parcheş and Teliţa. “Field walking” is a method used by archaeologists to locate and characterise sites in countryside by collecting material, mainly pottery, from the surface of ploughed fields. This has to be done systematically so that we can use the evidence in our analyses. Walking in circles For the project we have developed a new system for field-walking. We lay out a transect of points, five wide at 30m intervals across a field. At each point we collect all the material found within a circle with an area of 2m2. When we have collected 25 points (a 5x5 grid) we then input the results into a small hand-held computer for statistical analysis. The transects are located in the landscape using handheld GPS and the data then analysed using our Geographical Information System. Locating a grid with GPS Distribution of finds at La Pod, a site previously excavated by Dr. Baumann Late Roman crossbow brooch

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