Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Digging in Dunning

At the end of the semester, when they were telling us about the field school, someone mentioned that if we were mad keen to excavate the medieval stuff, we should let someone know, otherwise most of us would be digging the henge monuments. I never did say anything about it, but was really hoping to get to dig in one of the medieval sites. So - I was over the moon when they posted the schedule and I was listed under Dunning! I really felt like it was a blessing. 

I think the folks at Leadketty had a fabulous time, and I'm sure I would have as well, but I was glad to be in Dunning. We were digging right up against the outside wall of the churchyard - and this was a blessing, as we were in shade most of the day. The first week was very dry and hot, and if I'd been at Leadketty I'd have had no shade at all!
My sondage, oh yeah! I found out that sondage is a fancy French word meaning wee trench within the larger trench.

All these gravestones in the churchyard at St Serfs became familiar faces..

A close-up of the above grave. Notice how the bones aren't crossed, they're just beside the skull.

Cast-iron grave marker. As you can see, nothing of the inscription remains.

One of (if not THE) oldest inscribed gravestone in the churchyard (1624)

See the moon-face in this one? Very peculiar. We all wanted to know the story behind this!

Sadly, this had broken. What a beautiful stone! Below the angel face is a plough, so the man must have been a farmer.

I loved the decoration and the face on this one.

These two were right by the door going into the church, and are medieval.


  1. Oooh! What a blessing indeed! It looks like you had a fabulous time. Those gravestones are incredible and so beautiful! Thanks for all the pictures!

  2. The gravestones are absolutely wonderful!! Love all the skulls. Silly Mairi--you were blessed, in spite of your self :)

  3. Oh, isn't there always a "fancy" French word for something that's actually very pedestrian?