Digging the Dirt!

On Saturday 19 January 2013 we had our first Riverpedia workshop of the year at the Visitor Centre in Mortimer Wheeler House. The students? 16 dedicated FROGs. The teacher? Dr Mike Allen of Allen Environmental Archaeology. The workshop was an all-day affair that started with a morning of lectures on key environmental archaeology concepts such as: “What is the difference between a soil and sediment? How are soils formed, what are soil horizons and how can we recognise them?” The lectures used a variety of examples from archaeological excavations around England and Wales to discuss these key concepts. There were also specific foreshore examples, which confirmed for the FROGs that the intertidal environment is indeed one of the most difficult to interpret! The second half of the day involved a series of hands-on exercises where the FROGs worked with real soil and sediment samples and monoliths. Using a series of charts and factsheets they had their knowledge put to the test when asked to identify, describe and interpret the soil or sediment.

Special thanks to Dan Nesbitt (LAARC), Dr Mike Allen and all our keen Foreshore Recording & Observation Group attendees!