A few days have passed since we started to break ground at Aston. The autumnal weather continues, and so does the hard work of those on site. However, archaeology is not all about digging and waiting for that next biscuit break.
Research is an integral part of archaeology. It is a vital part of the process wherein, information is gathered and processed on the area we are digging. Multiple sources of information are used from historic mapping to research on previous studies of the area - as explained in more detail in an earlier blog post - providing a narrative of the past to aid in our focus to understand the history here.
However, preparation can only lead you so far. Always expect the unexpected, with both the archaeology and the natural environment you are in. Particularly when it comes to the British wildlife. During machine excavation, we found a toad! They were unharmed and were removed safely and properly to a location far from any danger.
So, research is vital for us to have an understanding of the history we hope to find here, but you never quite know what you will get all the time. For now, we saved a toad and have started to reveal multiple ditches and a few pits on our site. How exciting for this first week!