Ken's Bamburgh Journal
Fieldwork 2006

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For the past two near-record-hot days I've been excavating the same skeleton in the Bowl Hole (and will probably be at it for a few more). As you can see in this picture, it's awkward work: I have to be very careful to not collapse the unstable walls of the cut while reaching way down in there to remove clay from around the bones. I'm finding it rather taxing to perch precariously in the small space available, and work with my left hand's fingertips to pry out chunks of clay with dental tools.

It seems to me that it would be much better to remove more of the sand dune in order to give more flat space around the grave, then lay some planks over it so that the work can go a lot faster, but resistance to that idea frustrates me, for no logical reason. Sigh. Given the working conditions, I'd consider asking to go back to the castle trenches, but I really want the experience of working with skellies (for me resume) and believe it would be best to stick it out all the way through bone removal for at least one.

Our skeleton at the end of work on Monday

Working with Hanka, who's from the Czech Republic, to clear more hard clay soil from around the bones

Sarah working to remove the pelvis of her skeleton

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