The Big Dig welcomed its first young archaeologists this week when third class pupils from Harolds Cross School in Dublin put it through its paces!
The class were told that this was a rescue excavation in advance of the construction of a new road and they would have to move fast to save and study the archaeology of the site. They were divided into four teams, led by their own site supervisors and quickly decided where they would dig. A post-excavation team was also put in place to wash and file the finds, sieve soil samples for environmental remains, study a skeleton which had been found on site, and examine insect remains under microscope.
After two and half hours, the teams had to draw their excavation to a close and reinstate the site but not before much interesting information had been gathered. The class are still analysing their finds, but their initial conclusions are that this was a multi-phase site, with evidence from the Stone Age right up to the Viking period. One burial was uncovered, in a stone cist with pottery sherds, a long oak trackway, and what the children think must have been the bank of a fort of some sort. In another part of the Dig, a team believes they have found a stable and the microscopic remains from this area do suggest there were animals here. A lot learnt, but loads more to do, and a lot more archaeology down there still!
The Big Dig is only starting to yield its secrets!
The Big Dig is open for school tours from September. For enquiries please contact us on:
Tel: 053 9120733