The dusty weather has continued here at Binchester, but our volunteers have been doing a fantastic job of cleaning the site. Towards the middle of the week, the trench was cleaned to make it easier to see when taking the recording photographs. This meant that we’ve been able to see the evidence of the ramparts more clearly, as well as understanding a little more of the areas of rough cobbling. We have also exposed the rubble levelling, which has sunk into the ditch just outside the supposed rampart on the east side of the site. In other areas we’ve cleaned up the road, which continues to look fantastic, and more clearly identified the areas of yard and buildings that run alongside this wall.
In amongst this work, we discovered a very interesting object, in the form of a phallic pendant. As our friends from NAA explain: “Phallic pendants are a fairly common artefact from Roman sites. However, it’s thought that they weren’t just decorative, but were worn for protection, possibly against the ‘evil eye’. A couple of different types of phallic pendants are known from this period and this example can be paralleled with similar pendants for Colchester and Pierecebridge.” In fact, one of the archaeologists who worked on the Binchester site when the excavations were being run by Durham University remembered discovering a very similar one in 2015, which you can find by scrolling down a little on the blog entry from that time: http://binchester.blogspot.com/2015/07/binchester-2015-day-29.html)
We hope that the weather does eventually give us a little rain, so we can more clearly see the features for recording, but we are quickly approaching the end of our time, with only a week and a half left!
Check back in a few days to see how things are progressing.