The Dig in Numbers

Author: Rachel

The trench has been re-turfed, the equipment packed away and our students returned home for the summer. Over the coming weeks the blog will begin to describe what we have found, how we excavated the site, what we have learnt, and what further research is still to come.

Busy on site. Image: R.Cannell


But, this week I am going to give you the dig in number!

Our team worked incredibly hard:

  • 2 project directors, 1 site supervisor and 1 outreach officer
  • 9 students from Newcastle University and 1 student from the University of Leicester took part in the excavation
  • Over 350 hours were put into the project by local volunteers over the two weeks! Our volunteers included those who had worked on Centre for Manx Studies projects over the years, local students, metal detectorists, and people who had never been on a dig before!

Digging a site is not just about trowelling – we also do a LOT of recording

  • We kept Mareike busy using our total station to record 993 different locations on site. The total station records the location and height of a given point on the site onto a grid. We recorded locations for our finds, our drawings and the different features across the site.
  • We completed 21 context sheets – these record the details of every layer and feature we find on site. More about these in a future blog!
  • The team did 25 different drawings of the site – each drawing is an accurate, to scale representation of what we can see in the ground.

Our finds went to the museum on Tuesday – every find is photographed and documented.

  • 1100 finds were made on site! This is a pretty impressive total from 11.5 days of digging!

This number included:

  • 83 fragments of burnt bone – but none of these are a complete cremation rather just single fragments scattered across the upper layer of the site by plough action. What they do tell us is that there are burials within the mound!
  • 894 pieces of flint including scrapers, blades, burins, arrowheads, and lots of evidence of flint knapping having occurred at the site.
Some of the struck flint from the topsoil.


Amber, our outreach officer was very busy!

  • Amber visited 7 different schools on the island where we ran archaeology workshops.
  • 329 students took part in the workshops learning what archaeologists do and about the Bronze Age on the Isle of Man. We challenged them to identify and record a variety of finds.
  • 135 people came on site tours led by Amber and our students. They got to see the excavation in process. The site tours booked up before the dig even began!

Finally, archaeologists always need feeding:

  • Our student team made over 225 sandwiches to eat on site at lunch time (that is a lot of bread, cheese, ham, salami and the all-important peanut butter!)
  • We ate over 10kg of rice and 3kg of pasta!
robert 15 team shot
A hungry team back-filling the site. Image: R.Cannell

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