Dan Thompson: Margate Caves dig – day six

Margate Caves dig, day six

Dan Thompson is the artist-in-residence with the dig at the Margate Caves site in Cliftonville.

Dan is sharing his diary of the dig with The Isle of Thanet News.

Day 6

Local people are really behind the archaeological dig on the Margate Caves site. Even on a cold, wet Saturday 15 volunteers turned out, with even more people visiting the site to see the work in progress.

That many volunteers make light work. Excavation has started in the Iron Age ditches, and post-holes have also been excavated. There are more pieces of Iron Age pottery, including another fine base. The rear wall of Margaret Bryan’s house is also clear, running the full width of the site.

It’s surprising that only a few pieces of broken pottery have been found – it appears the house was stripped clean after bombing and before being demolished. All these features have been mapped using GPS. This will allow future visitors to know exactly what is below the visitor centre, and it’s expected that some of the finds will be on show too.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking about the work I’ll make about the site, the archaeology, and the volunteers involved. I’ve been collecting colours, from the cold white of marble to the warm green of Tudor pottery.

And I’ve been photographing cross sections to record the layers in the ground.

But there’s another week on the site, which might turn up even more surprises – or inspire something completely different.

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