Dig Diaries
July 13, 2018 2:20 PM   Subscribe

It's summer in the northern hemisphere, which means archaeologists are sharpening their trowels as they embark on fieldwork projects. Here's a few dig diaries to follow along: The Ness of Brodgar is the site of a stunning complex of Neolithic buildings in the West Mainland of Orkney. Newgrange Farm excavations are investigating a substantial feature discovered through geophysical investigation in 2015. It's the first excavation to take place at the site for 30 years. Bamburgh Research Project is excavating within the walls of Bamburgh Castle, the site of the fortress palace of the Anglo-Saxon kings of Northumbria. Waterloo Uncovered works with current and former service personnel, alongside archaeologists and students, and are currently excavating Hougoumont Farm at the battlefield at Waterloo.
posted by Helga-woo (12 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Uhtred approves!
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:24 PM on July 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Ness of Brodgar previously. Newgrange previously.
posted by Helga-woo at 2:24 PM on July 13, 2018

And Mr Sharpe!

All Bernard Cornwell protagonists are on board.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:25 PM on July 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

May I add an upcoming dig in America? Beginning August 16 to October 6, you could help Dig Giusewa!, excavating a 5x5 meter area of a pueblo at Jemez Historic Site in New Mexico.
posted by olopua at 3:49 PM on July 13, 2018 [5 favorites]

Bamburgh Castle, trench 3: "We’re beneath our ninth century metalworking horizon…we’ve been digging through eighth century deposits..."
posted by Morpeth at 6:13 PM on July 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Great post! I'm really glad to see these. I don't know any other public dig diaries to link to, but in terms of public archaeology, the Presidio Trust is undertaking a major excavation of the Presidio of San Francisco. It's a fascinating site in a beautiful location. The season runs from May to October, and the public is welcome to observe the site in progress (they're currently excavating some adobe walls right next to the parking lot), and I think they have tours of the lab onsite, as well. You're also welcome to volunteer and help out with screening and sorting artifacts.

And I'll add that anyone in Maryland who wants to learn more about archaeology can visit Jefferson Patterson State Park and Museum. Every summer they invite the public to participate in an ongoing archaeological dig on the park grounds. I haven't done it personally, but it's supposed to be great. This year's season is over, but mark your calendar for next year if you're interested!
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:33 PM on July 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Other digs more than welcome! I mostly know Ireland and the British Isles, but there's many more worldwide.

I'm in awe of sites that manage a daily diary, it's a lot of work to maintain.

One I missed was Vindolanda, which is a fort on Hadrian's Wall. They have amazing preservation, and have found dozens of writing tablets.

The Round Mounds Project on the Isle of Mann are digging now, but haven't put anything on the blog yet.

Must Farm excavations have mostly finished, but try do have a post-ex diary. That's a spectacularly preserved Bronze Age site.
posted by Helga-woo at 1:08 AM on July 14, 2018

Also in Ireland, a henge thought to be 4,500 years old was discovered a couple of days ago because the recent drought made it visible from the air. It's on the same site as Newgrange which was mentioned in the OP.
posted by kersplunk at 2:29 AM on July 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

Ipplepen is another promising site which has only been discovered recently.
posted by RandomInconsistencies at 2:59 AM on July 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also in Ireland, a henge thought to be 4,500 years old was discovered a couple of days ago

New post.

For a second I thought the tab title said "Meat Henge discovery is 'very significant.'" You'd think the meat would have spoiled a good 4,000 years ago at least. Must be some magic meat.
posted by homunculus at 6:20 AM on July 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ness of Brodgar has eaten up the past three hours !!
posted by infini at 8:34 AM on July 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

infini, it can eat up your life, or so I've heard from people who've visited and keep going back. It's on my wishlist of sites to visit.
posted by Helga-woo at 8:57 AM on July 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

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