Thursday, April 20, 2006

In the news...

Our work at Verdmont and elsewhere featured in the local news - first a story in the Mid-Ocean News, followed by coverage of the open day at Verdmont House in the Bermuda Sun.

With the fieldwork phase of the research project now completed, we are beginning reporting and planning of future work. All of us on the project team are very grateful to our friends and colleagues in Bermuda for their support and enthusiasm... in particular Richard and Anna Lowry, Nicki O'Leary, Steve Conway, Diana and Nigel Chudleigh, Stephen Copeland and Ronnie Watlington.

More pictures of our work will be posted here soon, as well as links to the reports when they are finished. Apologies for not updating more frequently when we were actually there, for which we blame the very slow connection in the Archaeology Lab.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Excavations at Government House

On Friday we conducted the first archaeological excavation to take place at Government House. The Bermuda National Trust were invited by Lady Vereker to investigate the possible site of a midden in the grounds, which she discovered after trees were lost in Hurricane Fabian.

Excavations in progress, with Govern- ment House behind.

We excavated a trench approximately 4m x 2m in plan to evaluate the archaeological potential of the midden, centred around the bole of a screw palm where Lady Vereker has discovered some pottery. We were able to recover a wide range of pottery, glass and other artefacts (including some brass buttons) and a quantity of bone and shell. Most of the artefacts date from the later nineteenth century, so the midden is probably associated with the present Government House rather than its predecessor.

Katie showing Lady Vereker some of the artefacts from the dig.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Excavations at Verdmont

This week we have been excavating at Verdmont House. We have made excellent progress in only three days, opening ten test pits and completing five of them. We have found a wide range of artefacts. These have included early 18th century slipware and tin-glazed earthenware, various bits of 18th and 19th century glass and miscellaneous earthenware, and both large and small mammal bones.

The main focus of our excavations has been at Verdmont Cottage, thought to be the site of the kitchens and/or slave quarters and/or stables. Today part of the building is a house rented out by the Trust, and part of it is storerooms for the grounds maintenance team.

We have excavated nine test pits to the west of this building, recovering artefacts that have been discarded from the kitchen and/or slave quarters.

The scene on Monday - Trenches 1 and 2 being opened up...

Trench 3 in foreground, Trench 1 being excavated behind

Cher (right) and Tom (left) in action on Trenches 8 and 6 respectively

Emma hard at work digging through rubble in Trench 7

Katie breaking the ground on Trench 9

Paul trowelling under the palm tree in Trench 10

Monday, April 03, 2006

Verdmont House

We began excavations today at Verdmont, exploring the area to the west of 'Verdmont Cottage' to see what (if any) evidence remains of the former use of this range as a kitchen and/or slave quarters. More information and photos will be uploaded shortly.