1998 Site Diary

Our main season of fieldwork this year has already started and will run until June the 18th. As in earlier years, we are working on a variety of features.We are also continuing our project work with local schools, with artists in residence, as well as offering formal and informal guided tours.

Trench 1 encompasses a series of upstanding stone features that may well define the area of a prehistoric building. Trench 2 has been located along the line of the Neolithic enclosure that cuts off the cliff of Gardom's Edge itself. Test pit survey is also bing conducted in and around a smaller enclosure that was partially excavated in 1997. So far we have striipe the trenches of their heather and turf. We have also removed the thin blanket of peat that covers much of the moor. Any features; placed stones, pits, post holes etc that lie beneath the peat, are likely to be prehistoric in date. The next three weeks will see an alternating pattern of trowelling, planning, sampling and the cutting of sections. With luck, this should move us a little closer to understanding something of the character and timing of activities in the immediate area of the trenches.

These pages will be updated with new photographs and text as the excavation progresses. This will be followed by the addition of an interim report and photographs of the work of artists in residence a few weeks after fieldwork has been completed. The less said about the midges and the rain, the better!

Gardom's Edge

For Chad

After the dig, all we are left are traces of the work,
boots we leave encrusted with peat
to keep the smell of sphagnum in the house,
coffee grounds in the flask, and the neat catalogue
of notes and plans you pore over for days.
Your fine script, sweat smudged or smeared by rain,
litters the table in a scatter of sherds and string,
the burnished steel of the trowel, worn to the hand,
your coat pockets, filled with soil and lint.

I might taste the salt on the skin, and perhaps
it is your body that best remembers this skill of digging,
shovel and mattock balanced in the spine
and the callous of the palm,
vertebrae abraded by rain
and the sunburnt backs of your hands.

Late at night, I know you reinhabit these finds
to recall a voice, the touch of a hand,
or imagine the other lives that have been,
like the moment we take our father's tools,
fit our hands to the wood,
thinking to find our blood-line in the grain.

Mel Giles

Trench 1

Intro/First Week Second Week Third Week Trench1 in Quicktime VR!

Trench 2

Intro/First Week Second Week Third Week Trench 2 in Quicktime VR!

Trench 3 - New in Third week


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