Well yesterday I moved my worldly goods (most importantly the digging kit) down to London town… The big smoke… The big cheese… our capital!
I’ve been given some pretty good advice –
“You’ll love the natural in London, it’s bright orange gravel, or blue clay if you’ve got something that cuts through all of that. Not that you’ll ever make it down to the natural”
So I can’t wait for the adventure to begin! I want 4m of stratified archaeology from the Iron Age capital of the east, to the charred remains of Londinium, through the developments of early English architecture, past the great fire, maybe including a couple of plague pits and finally a burst of regeneration. Of course I’m pragmatic, I’m not going to get much of any of that! Probably the odd scrap of truely identifiable early archaeology and the rest of it the last stages which came along and dug the rest out!
It does remind me of another fair capital that I was fortunate enough to dig. The beautiful Edinburgh!
I went to help excavate the north side of Holyrood road, by the time I got there they were already about 6m below road level and had ripped out a whole Victorian brewery. The site was immense!
At the bottom I got to play around in a lovely wishing well (one which I have mentioned in an older post) and there found lots of lovely shiny things, some rose gold coins, one even being mis-stamped (in the states, is that called a mule?) As well as a lovely set of pins, some quite nicely preserved leather.
One can hope for a repeat of the same!
Although not entirely the same experience… warning funny but gross part…
On the middle weekend of my being there the workers carried on with the digging around our excavation. They mistakenly thought that an old cast iron sewage pipe and cap was no longer important/necessary and so took the top clean off with a digger. This resulted in the complete flooding of our little trench and there was us archaeologists trying to pump out this delightful concoction of 200 year old waste, rain wash, modern road wash and god knows what else!
At the end of that Monday I was covered from head to toe in the stuff and asked the nice man with the industrial sized jet wash to hose me down. Needless to say it didn’t complete the job of cleaning me off, so after removing all of my over clothes, trudging through the centre of Edinburgh with the stuff smeared across my face, making it to my hostel and in the doors while trying to avidly avoid bumping into someone/making eye contact/happening to be down wind of anyone I was staying with…. I made it to the showers!
So yes.. London I beg of you, repeat the good parts, but please leave out the poop!