Today was our last day on site at Fairy Holes. It’s been a very productive and quite intense fortnight and we are pleased with the results. However, today our focus was more on tidying up than thinking.
As the photos I took at dinnertime show, by shortly after noon we had all the soil out of the grab-bags and back where it belonged in the various caves. This just left us an enormous quantity of muddy equipment to sort out and trek back down the hill to the farm. Of all the sites we have excavated on the project Fairy Holes has the most difficult access, with lots of very steep and trackless slopes to negotiate before you get to a recognisable path.
Special thanks today have to go to Tony and Carol for their voluntary help on the project, especially today when their hard work saved Sam and I from a very late finish. After an injury and some sterling evacuation work by Daniel on the quad-bike and Pete’s car: Sam, Tony, Carol and I were left as the only hands able to move all this stuff back to the van. Once there we had to get it all as clean as possible and packed away. We were finished by 5.30, which would never have happened without their help.
On Monday I have to start unpacking all the finds and working on the post-excavation analysis. Given all the mud over the last few days quite a lot of things are going to need more cleaning. I have two cleaning products of choice for archaeological equipment. One is the trowel (buckets, shovels and anything else robust enough to stand being scraped clean) and the other is baby wipes (hands, cameras, survey equipment and computers). This is not a fail-safe system. The minibus, for example, doesn’t respond particularly well to either.
We will be back at New Laund in July to do four more weeks of excavation on and around the enclosure site but until then we will continue with weekly updates on the progress of the project.