Ken's Bamburgh Journal
Fieldwork 2006

Face in the Grave
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I've heard of having one foot in the grave, but my face...? Yeah, made it to the Bowl Hole this morning, where we're digging out three skeletons at the moment, with more graves easily seen in the area -- enough to keep us busy the rest of the season. All three skeletons have been exposed over the past week, one almost completely, one partially, and one just starting to show.

They put me on the partial one, and I had to lay there on my stomach with arms reaching out fully to scrape away sand and chunks of clay that compose the grave fill. My face literally was in the grave for much of the day. Of the three burials, two are crouched and on their side and one lays on its back fully extended, all have their heads to the west. Nothing has been found with them yet, but could still turn up. Whether they were pre-Christian or not will be hard to determine because burial customs at this time were transitioning from one to the other.

Last night was the coldest yet, even with no wind. On Sunday I intended to buy a cheap heavy blanket or hat or both to keep me warmer. At the moment the plan is to take a bus down to Alnwick and visit the town and its huge second-hand bookshop. I may also/instead take a boat ride out to the local Farne Islands to view seals and birds in the wildlife area there. However, tonight's we're all headed to the Castle Hotel's pub for cider etc.!

Pano of Bowl Hole

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