Archaeology at Birkenshaw 2

A view of the site showing the yellow subsoil at the bottom of the trench

A view of the site showing the yellow subsoil at the bottom of the trench

Well, the digging’s done and the children are now on a well-earned half-term holiday. They deserve it for having worked so hard on site last week. Unfortunately I’m not yet able to show any images of them hard at work as the school has decided to double check that everyone has their photo permissions in order before allowing me to upload any images. Hopefully I’ll be able to get something to show you soon.

The children made an interesting array of finds including 19th and 20th century pottery, some fragments of glass, a rusty nail, a metal button and what appears to be an old battery. All these were found in what appeared to be cultivation soil. We reached the natural subsoil at a depth of about 30 centimetres.

Birkenshaw is not the only school excavation I have this term. I’ll be working at Hanging Heaton next week and at East Morton the week after. Follow the blog to find out more.



Archaeology at Birkenshaw

Today and tomorrow I’m working on an archaeological project at Birkenshaw CE (C) Primary School (West Yorkshire, UK). Old Ordnance Survey maps suggested that the school was built on a greenfield site and this therefore suggested the possibility of a range of manuring finds such as we had at Austhorpe and St Phillip’s (Middleton).

Yesterday I opened up a 6.0 m x 1.0 m trench on open land to one side of the school. This morning we had classroom sessions to explain to the two Year 2 classes what archaeology is all about and this afternoon they had a turn at a real archaeological excavation.

There appears to be a substantial depth of plough soil so the assumption that this was a greenfield site seems to be correct. Unfortunately finds were few – a couple of pieces of Victorian pot and lots of fragments of brick.

Perhaps tomorrow will bring that pot of gold that the children were all expecting. We’ll just have to wait and see…..

Pictures coming tomorrow…