Going digging this summer? Whether you’re an old hand or a brand new shovel bum, there’s lots to learn about the fine art of digging.
So read on to brush up on your skills and make sure you get your trench etiquette right – here’s my top two things NEVER to do in a trench… if you do, expect to face the trowel of vengeance!
1. Never leave the trench in a mess
Tidy trench, tidy mind, or so the saying goes. If the trench isn’t ‘trowel clean’ then there’s no point in digging it. So make sure your sections are super-straight and super-clean and keep it clean in plan too. If you can’t see the ‘real’ edges of a feature within the trench, then you won’t be able to excavate it accurately. I’m really OCD when it comes to this – you have been warned!
2. Never forget your fellow trench mates
You are not the only person in the trench. People tend to forget this especially when they have their heads down focussing intently on the patch of dirt in front if them. I do not take kindly to anyone who over-zealously mattocks or trowels with disregard to their fellow trench mates – don’t forget to watch for whoever is behind you. As an archaeologist, it is a cardinal sin to dirty another’s area AND woe betide you if you walk on another’s trowel-cleaned area….
* please note I do however take kindly to pints and ice-cream.
Support great archaeology
DigVentures crowdfunds archaeological projects that everyone can be part of, in the UK and overseas. With help from people all over the world, we investigate the past and publish our discoveries online for free. Support one of our digs and you can choose to excavate alongside our team, or watch our discoveries online!