Since the last update, we have been very busy behind the scenes, the project is moving forward slowly and steadily at the moment. This is a project update to let everyone know where we stand now and what we are planning over the next couple of months. I am now back working on Prescot Street after a break of a couple of months (I have been working on the final stages of an old project that should be published this year) so hopefully we will see more updates on the website over the spring. The post excavation team is made up of around 15 people drawn from L – P : Staff, the Museum of London and some freelancers.
Firstly, we have has some good news now that all of our finds have now been washed dried, bagged and boxed ready to be examined and assessed by the team of specialists. Basically this is a long and labourious process that involves opening every bag of muddy finds and washing them in an appropriate way before drying them and neatly rebagging them in a way that will protect them for storage in the Museum of London.
Meanwhile, Chaz has been busy working on the documentary archive. When we left site, we had completed a basic records check and data entry for every single context. Chaz has now been working on each grid square of the site checking that the stratigraphic sequence works correctly and that each grid square has a completed and working ‘plan matrix'. This process should be completed by the end of the month.
So what’s next…
On the documentary side, Chaz and I will be working through all of our plan matrices and producing one massive matrix for the whole site. This will show every single context that we have recorded and it’s stratigraphic relationship with the other contexts. We will also being grouping the individual contexts into units called sub-groups. This is the first step on the long road to producing the final stratigraphic narrative.
On the finds side, the ceramics specialists will be busy ‘spot dating’ our contexts. This means that every context containing ceramics will be examined by a ceramics specialist and each fragment of pot will be looked at and dated according to the known sequences of pottery from London. From this data, each context will then be assigned a date range. When we combine these date ranges with the stratigraphic relationships in the matrix, we will then have a much more accurate idea of the date of all the things we found. When you add to this the dates from the coins and the building materials, we will start to have a complete picture of the stratigraphy on the site.
Once these tasks are complete, we will move on to the ‘assessment report’, which is a report that sets out our assessment of the importance of what we have found. On the basis of this report, we will then write our plan for the final analysis of the material and its publication. But more on these steps in good time!