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Nine days into the dig and the finds trays are overflowing. Luckily, Edwin is on hand to sort them out. Let’s take a closer look at some of the stuff that’s coming out of the ground today…

First of all, we should meet Edwin. This is Edwin:

Minsmere LA16 Edwin Finds

Edwin is an accountant for Lotus (how glam!) and he likes to keep things in order. It definitely shows! This is what a finds tray looks like when it arrives fresh from the field, all dirty and messy and a jumble of things that are artefacts, and things that are not:

Minsmere LA16 Dirty Finds Tray

Whereas THIS is what a finds tray looks like once Edwin has finished with it. Everything is clean, the non-artefacts have been discarded, and the remaining artefacts have been sorted by type and size:

Minsmere LA16 Edwin Finds Tray Shells

It’s the kind of thing that brings us archaeologists a deep sense of pleasure, but it’s also incredibly useful for the finds team for when it comes to weighing, bagging and analysing. But before we go into some more detail, here’s another one full of animal bones for you to admire:

Minsmere LA16 Edwin Finds Tray Bones

So, what kind of things are we starting to find, and what kind of questions will they help us answer? Well, judging by this finds tray, we’ve certainly got plenty of butchered pig bone. Most of it is coming out of trench 28 (the one that’s quite some distance from the heart of the abbey). It’s a pretty good clue as to what our ‘pirate priests’ were consuming:

Minsmere LA16 Finds Tray Pig Bone

There’s also some lovely bits of medieval pottery coming out of trench 26, like this piece of Flemish greyware that was decorated with a zig zag sometime in the 12th or 13th century. As well as being lovely to look at, they’re great for helping us providing dates for the deposits they came out of:

Minsmere LA16 Zig Zag pottery Flemish greyware

There’s also plenty of building rubble, like mortar, flint and bits of limestone block. But there are also these rather more curious bits of metal – most likely lead from fitting or repairing the window frames:

Minsmere LA16 Finds Lead

But probably one of our favourite groups of finds so far are the gorgeous bits of painted window glass we’ve been finding. We know that the abbey was moved from this site, to one five miles away that we excavated last year, where we found some pieces with pretty much the same pattern:

Grisaille Day 3 Maggie

Great stuff! Check out more pictures from Day 9 here.