The team on site have thrown themselves back into their work after the Christmas break and we're achieving great things!  

The layout of the barracks is really starting to take shape, with about 16 buildings now having been identified.  Most of the days at the moment are taken up with cleaning back the remnants of walls and recording the brickwork.  One of the main things which has become very obvious recently is the variation in the standard of the construction of these buildings.  Some of the wall foundations look really rather shoddy!  The thickness of the wall foundations, along with the quality  of bricks used changes a lot across the buildings.

Remains of a corner of a brick building


The explanation behind this might simply be that as the barracks was built in a matter of just a couple of months, there was no time for a high quality finish to these structures.  It would have been more a case of, just get the things up!  Other explanations could be to do with the level of craftmanship of the brick layer or even something to do with hierarchy - the officers are more important so their quarters may have had a bit more time spent on them compared with those of the soldiers.

If you've read our week 18 update you'll know that one of the other aspects of these buildings which we've identified, is the presence of a number of fireplaces.  Two of the largest buildings on the northern side of the site each have five fire places.  We've identified other buildings with fireplaces, but thus far all these other buildings only have the one fireplace. Again, the presence of buildings with so many fire places is suggestive of the social scale across the people living at working here - officers would have had an office each to work in and each office would probably have had a fireplace.  Whereas the everyday soldiers wouldn't be provided with such a luxury.

One of the stone fireplaces


We continue to uncover some interesting finds as we go about our work.  One of the more interesting ones we've come across lately is this pile of metal buttons!  By the looks of them they are not as old as the barracks, but that doesn't make their discovery any less exciting.

Pile of buttons in a pit