I looked in the mirror at 6 today.. the days have taken their toll not a good day to meet the DG.
Chedworth at 7.30 is very beautiful. Quiet, with house martins flitting across the blue!! whispy cloud-flecked sky and the low sunlight picking out the contours of the mosaic. Lots to do.
The previous two days very wet. The once compliant soil turning to claggy mud and causing everything to get messy. Efforts to clean precious surfaces not rewarding. Morale low.
But today…life looked rosier but the loss of time has put the pressure on. The mosaic is virtually uncovered but there are questions to answer.
Sir Ian’s concrete walls. What did they represent? They don’t appear to relate to anything and Steve the mosaic expert believed that there should be a different central design. We extended to find it but the mosaic is largely lost in the middle of the room.
Fay tested a Richmond wall line at the east edge of the site. Nothing but mortary backfill 0.3m down. Perhaps look a little deeper tomorrow. Carol and Harry tried the east junction of the water feature wall where it joined the corridor wall and that showed it butted the corridor… so was later.
Kate dug a trench where a wall should run under the later baths on the north side of the steps…and uncovered..wonderful things. Large blocks of painted plaster which could be seen to extend beyond the wall line and under the mosaic. It seems that just before the floor was laid, the plaster was thrown down as a hardcore. It looked like the painting on the plaster had been created yesterdaywith vivid colours, brush strokes and marking out lines for the stripes still visible.
With more rain promised for tomorrow, Bill brought the laser scanner today and as we were not ready.. he kindly used the time by carrying out a laser scan of the finest and most famous Chedworth mosaic. The one in the dining room of the West Range which shows the four seasons.
We worked, all of us, cleaning and uncovering..as the hours ticked away ..and then it was time and we watched as mysterious white orb stations were placed around the site and the scanner was set up. First creating a point cloud and then a mosaic of digital images. The two are combined to form a millimeter accurate image of the mosaic.
Though it is buried on Friday we will have an excellent record to inspire us as we seek the funding for the cover building which will enable the mosaic to be seen again.