Micro-excavations - 3


This pot was not cracked in the ground and could be lifted out intact.  Only the piece of pottery which made the door in its side has been pushed in by the weight of earth.

The image on the left below shows the top of the burial, once the loose soil had been cleaned away inside.  The curved piece of pottery from the door can be seen partially exposed.  Clay percolated into the pot whilst it was underground and was deposited over the bones and, when the door fell in, over that too.  This clay has solidified into small hard slabs.  In cases like these, it is necessary to carry out the excavation through the hole in the pot side, so as not to damage it.  It is fiddly and painstaking work which takes a long time.  The image on the right shows the partly completed excavation, exposing the bones of the skeleton.  On the left is the child's skull; in the middle the arms and on the right, the legs.


After planning, the bones and teeth were lifted and the pot was fully cleared of soil.