Out and About
National Archaeology Day
The National Archaeology Day at Maidstone Museum on 18th July 2015 was well attended by both members of the group and the public, with the children most interested in the bones and teeth. Albert and Roger did their best to inspire some future archaeologists. Members of the group were given a free in-depth tour behind the scenes of the museum. A good day for the group and visitors alike.
Visits to Wessex Archaeology and the Brook Pumping Station : 15th June 2013
David Carder, MAAG
1. Wessex Archaeology (WA), Laker Road, Rochester
17 MAAG members and other guests attended, including some from the Randall Manor dig at Shorne. We were met by Mark Williams and Lisa McCaig, who provided some welcome refreshments. WA moved to these spacious offices in December 2010 from their cramped accommodation in Weavering Street, Maidstone. 11 permanent staff work here.
Mark and Lisa demonstrated the new methods of site recording, with results entered into a customised (GIS) database, which links plots, photos and finds' records. Although site context records are still completed on paper, they are entered soon after (within a few days) into the database. The GPS recording offers amazing accuracy: 5mm vertical, 2mm plane. Once entered, the data can be viewed graphically, allowing much better site interpretation; problems can often be spotted and investigated while digging is in progress, rather than much later, when the evidence has gone.
This database (which surprisingly has no name) was pioneered at the Heathrow Terminal 5 (T5) excavations, and was first used in Kent at the East Kent Access Road (EKAR), Thanet. This massive linear excavation about 4 miles long used the combined resources of WA and Oxford Archaeology It lasted from October 2009 to September 2010, had 25,000 contexts, and at its peak had 150 archaeologists on site.
The T5 database is now available on-line (http://www.framearch.co.uk/t5/evidence/), and the EKAR database will be put on-line in due course.
Mark and Lisa had laid out some interesting finds, although storage at Rochester is very limited and most of the finds go to their WA HQ in Salisbury. Conservation and specialist identification are also done at Salisbury. The finds included pots, tweezers, a Bronze-Age axe, Samian ware, worked flints, and hand axes. A stereo microscope brought out the fine detail on some Saxon coins. Each item was tagged with three pieces of information: Site Code, Object Number and Context Number.
We also looked a selection of underwater finds, including a mammoth's tooth and part of a tusk, the vertebra of an auroch (a large extinct ox), part of machine gun, a cannon ball, and part of a ceramic pot with a battle scene, probably late C18 or early C19.
We had a most interesting morning, and we are most grateful to Mark, Lisa and all at WA for arranging the visit.
2. The Brook Pumping Station, The Brook, Chatham
5 attended : Report yet to be written by Richard Weeks,MAAG
Shoreham Aircraft Museum
Our thanks to our member Trevor Bardell and all the staff at the Aircraft Museum for the very interesting visit we had there on Saturday, 30th June 2012:
It is well worth a visit (and so is the Tea Room!).
Folkestone Roman Villa
On Saturday, 13th August 2011 we visited the Roman Villa Excavation at Folkestone, and had some very informative talks about the site and the work that is being undertaken there - for more information, see www.atownunearthed.co.uk. Our thanks to all our hosts for such an interesting afternoon.
How's this for a view?!
And here are just a few of the finds:
This outing was to see the Shipwreck Museum in Hastings and the wreck of the Amsterdam at low tide near Bulverhythe - led by Albert Daniels and Dr. Ed of Maidstone Museum, in the company of his Geology Course members, on a very wet and blustery day ...
... and another enjoyable and informative visit was to the Medway Megaliths to see Kits Coty and the surrounding area, guided by Angela Muthana: