Digging Caerau – Keith’s Blog

Read on for a great blog by Keith – a volunteer adult learner on Cardiff University’s Exploring the Past Pathway…

My week at Caerau Hillfort has come to an end. As one of the volunteer students from Exploring the Past from Cardiff University I have experienced the life of an archaeologist for a few days. During the week I spent my time in trench 3 supervised by Kelly who was always there to help and advise along with other students and volunteers. Each day new features were found. As Kelly explained to me all had to be investigated and an explanation had to be found for each feature. My first few hours on the first day was to help with mattocking , shovelling and emptying wheel barrows. You can understand why Kelly insisted on the importance of wearing steel toecap boots!

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Keith excavating his pit

During the dig light hearted banter between students took place. It was reported that one student was released from the bell tower each morning to work on the site and returned to the tower by night! Olly and Neil would walk around the site inspecting the progress of each trench and give guidance on how to proceed. With the help of other students we spent some time excavating a pit following a natural layer of green clay which revealed an unusual shaped pit. Possibly a quarry pit? The verdict is still out!

Luckily at the end of the day a photo was taken of the pit as that night the site had heavy rain. Inspection of the trenches the following morning revealed areas of flooding. This day was the site open day with many visitors expected. With Dave and all involved with the Caer Heritage Project the field was prepared for the activities that were to take place within the field, including regular guided tours around the site explaining to the visitors the archaeological evidence found. For the first time many of the visitors discovering the long history of their area and a chance to be involved with the project.

The students on the camera team interviewed fellow students and Neil (Prof) with the aid of a trowel! A day reported to have an amber weather warning turned out to be a glorious summer day with many visitors and an important day for the Caerau Hillfort.