Mud, glorious mud

The Whitehall Villa excavation is up and running again – rather too literally. It always seems miraculous that water can emerge from the ground near the top of a hill, instead of further down the valley where those of us who know nothing about geology might expect it. Most of the team spent hours yesterday clearing drainage ditches and baling out trenches – some of them nobly clearing the same pools they’d emptied not only last week, but earlier the same day.

For the texture and smell of the mud, you’ll have to use your imagination. For some fine photos and the latest info on the dig and people who are doing all the hard work (as opposed to those of us who just drop in as a break from writing), visit Jeremy Cooper’s blog. The large straw hat seen in the second photo down (Day 1) has an escaped author hiding underneath it, attempting to sponge the last puddle out of a trench.

A small confession here… although it’s not great for the purposes of research into Roman Britain, playing around in mud and building dams and streams is enormous fun.

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