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Ginger Archaeology

A personal Blog all about History and Archaeology!

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tips and tricks

Tips and Tricks 3: Trowel

“How do you use a Trowel?” A question that comes up far to often and really has no definite answer. There are a number of techniques that I personally and other archaeologists I know use to both allow for a large amount of material to be safely removed and two not forcing your joints to break!

“So how do you use it?” Well I’m struggling to put this down into words so I’ve found a tutorial/guide from a time team episode from 2000! Enjoy!!!

http://www.timeteamdigital.com/digs/roman-fort-and-vicus/talking-trowel-technique

“What Trowel is best” Again no definite answer as its up to personal preference, however I’ve discovered that the thinner bladed trowels cut through substances like clay (which Lincolnshire is full off) a lot easier that the chunky ones, however the thin blade ones typically bend a lot more easier and are more likely to fracture under stress unlike the chunky counterparts. So I typically use a strong chunky bladed trowel for work.

“Can you recommend any trowel manufacturers”

http://www.pasthorizonstools.com/WHS_Archaeology_trowel_p/11104arch.htm – A genral good purpose WHS trowel!

http://www.pasthorizonstools.com/WHS_Soft_Handled_Archaeology_Trowel_p/softtr.htm – For those who don’t want blisters!

WHS are considered the Crème of the crème! however there are a few us manufactures who make the slim trolls that I have mentioned. Alternatively one of my best trowl was this budget one and DIY trowels work well to!

http://www.pasthorizonstools.com/Budget_Archaeology_trowel_p/trow4.htm

“Can I borrow your Trowel?” No.. Never let anyone borrow your Trowels! Its Site law!!!

I hope you enjoyed this Cheesy! Tips and Tricks feature, Would of never thought I could do a blog about towels! GA

Tips and Tricks 2: Roman Grey Ware

The identification of Roman Grey Ware! quite often mistaken for stone.

Grey Ware was the standard equivalent of a every day kitchen and storage pot so got a lot of ware and tear and is quite commonly found across Britain.

We do see some nice patters on more exquisite pots.

Pot shards can consist of all different thicknesses and also cylindrical circumference,

at the bottom I have included a picture of a large fragment of late Grey ware. Note the Lighter inside clay colour in comparison to the much darker outside. GA

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Tips and Tricks 1: Identifying Flint Tools And Weapons

My example of what to look out for on a flint tool
My example of what to look out for on a flint tool

When you see a piece of Flint ask yourself a few questions whilst styding it using the 6 points bellow. Remember that humans have been using flint and stone tools for thousands of years so they are common to be found! An identification checklist Is the flint uniformly patinated? Is there the remains of a striking platform? Is there a striking point (positive bulb of percussion)? Is the Flint in a field or area where Flint is abundant? Have the edges been retouched? Is there pressure flaking on the surface? Dont look to much at the overall shape as the tool might be broken or simply a oddly shaped tool. Also look for a pattern in the Rock of octangler shape or half Octals conjoined together. Hope this helps.

Nice example of a Flint axe
Nice example of a Flint axe
A number of Flint tools and arrow heads
A number of Flint tools and arrow heads

Leave any questions or even picture of your finds in the comments. GA

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