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.
It’s incredible to think we’re eight days into the dig – and that this Friday will be the last day. I’m thinking I should treat the two lead archaeologists to GB Pizza to mark the end – a fittingly Margate end to the dig, do you think?
There’s lots more to dig before then. In our big Iron Age ditch, we’ve taken out sections to see the bottom and it’s well over a metre down. We’ve explored a number of other features, like post holes.
We have lots of Iron Age pottery as dating evidence, and bags of bone from animals. One large piece of pottery may even be earlier. So that’s Bronze Age, Iron Age, Tudor, post-medieval, Victorian and 20th Century pottery!
The spread of history is really capturing the imagination of our visitors. As we’re into half term, we’re seeing a number of families visit the site. They’ve variously studied the Iron Age, Victorians, and World War Two – so the site’s relevant to their studies.
And of course, our volunteers are making a huge impact. They’ve taken what could have been a simple evaluation to a full site excavation. The youngest is 12 years old – the oldest…. well, it’s rude to ask.
With heavy rain expected tomorrow, and deep trenches across the site, we might have to close the dig for a day. If we do, it will allow the archaeologists a little extra time for writing, research and evaluation. Because what happens on location is only a fraction of the work needed to understand this complex site.
Dedicated souls to British history. Brilliant. Sterling people. But where are all the East European Czechs, Bulgarians and Romanians volunteering and doing some work on the dig? Isn’t this their new adopted country?