As with every dig there is always a lot to do once the site has been excavated and finally back filled. It all comes under the heading of post-excavation and not just pot washing 🙂 One big job is to clean all the finds and maybe make more discoveries under the dirt.
So it was off to Tyntesfield with washing up bowls, toothbrushes, and seed trays (and chocolate biscuits) to meet some hardy volunteers willing to do pot washing out side in October!
Vic and Liz had worked on the Conservatory excavation – see this blog Tyntesfield Conservatory day 1 – and were interested to see the next stage and to help process what they had dug up.
There were many small pieces of polychrome tile that made up the mosaic floor, when cleaned we could see that they all had makers marks on the bottom so we were sure they were all Minton Hollins & Co, they match ones in the house.
Not all finds need washing, the metal work is usually gently dry brushed and then packed into air tight polyethylene boxes with silica gel and a humidity indicating strip as it has to be kept dry. This way we can create a micro climate for the metal work to slow down any corrosion.
As it was half term for the schools we had lots of interested visitors and one young lad Charlie, joined us for a short time to help clean the soil off the lion 🙂 he was very interested in conservation and collections , a future NT conservator or curator!
I left Vic and Liz with more boxes of finds to wash, hopefully they can find a lovely warm place to do the rest 🙂 Great job guys, I will send more biscuits 🙂