It's been going well and we've removed about three thousand coins. We've also now got about twenty small sample bottles sitting in our fridge each filled with the peaty stuff from individual 4cm cubes within the hoard. Important though this is (in a hoard with loads of visible gold jewellery) it has felt a bit like eating our greens before we're allowed out pudding. We were rewarded this week though for being thorough when we found a beautiful gold coin in among the usual Coriosolitae silver. It's a tiny Osismii quarter stater of the Bull Standard type, very rare.
We've now got a good selection of the organics however so we've decided that we'll spend another two weeks working on this area and then we'll start removing the entire hoard surface down a few centimetres. We can obviously start this second phase where we like so we we'll take the opportunity to excavate some of the gold jewellery. This is going to be an interesting excercise not just because the stuff is so beautiful and unknown but because we want to record its position in the hoard to fractions of a millimetre. We've been doing this with the coins by actually touching them with our metrology arm probe but with the jewellery we will laser scan it as far as we can when still in situ, then scan it again in its entirety when it's out of the hoard and cleaned. By merging the partial in-hoard scan and the later entire one when we can then "place" the whole model back into the virtual hoard.
So for those of you have been very patient with this blog as we've painstakingly worked coin by coin, keep a good eye on the project in a couple of weeks because we'll be getting nice stuff out and updating this blog much more often. I'm away for a couple of weeks now so there'll be no blog till the week starting the third. Bye