Time to check the tools and make lists of what we need to take for the dig at Chedworth Villa. Just a few more days until the spade cuts the first turf and the pick breaks the concrete (hopefully) oh! that reminds me must pack the safety goggles!
Last week we went to Chedworth to prepare the site, order the skip and to see the conservators working on the mosaics we exposed last year. AC, Susie and Chris were checking the condition of all the mosaics and testing different methods of cleaning them. Conservation techniques and best practise change over time, as new methods are tried or old and new poultice mixtures are discovered.
The new cover building is doing its job of creating the best environment for the mosaics and wall plaster, so far the monitoring is showing that it is working. It will take a few years to reach the ideal environmental conditions within the building but the signs are good; even when its first two years have been the wettest year and the hottest year!
The excavation is being done in order to record the detail of the structure and chronological development of the bath house and to assess the conditions of two buried mosaics (key-hole test pits) The bath house was investigated by Sir Ian Richmond but his records have been lost and we are not clear what he based his concrete wall alignments on. We need to understand the villa and what elements should be revealed before we can design a new cover building that will protect the remains for generations to come.
When we compare the historic photograph of the bath house with now we can see how much has changed. One of our jobs is to unravel what has been done and when and then unpick the story of this part of the site.
We will post daily up dates of what we find and hopefully at the end we will also have a time-lapse sequence to show you, if I get the settings right! 🙂