Its day 3 and trench 11A is ready to remove its large rubble from the Nymphaeum, a water feature employed by the ancients to supply both the aesthetic and physical needs of its populace. The method devised to remove this annoyance is a simple and elegant machine used by people for thousands of years which to the modern users is proving to be confusing and an anathema to all health and safety courses taken over the last few years.
Day 4: The attempt to remove the annoyance has proved successful with no damage to the Nymphaeum and the Australian archaeological team, we still have much to remove but at least we have put a sizeable dent in what needs to be done.
Secondary to the removal of the large stones from the Nymphaeum is a project to the south which was started today with the collection of soil from an ash layer which permeates much of the south eastern corner of the site. Soil collected in this instance is being used to test the hypothesis that the ash layer results from medieval industrial action once the theatre itself had fallen into a state of ruin and the site was used for semi domestic and industrial purposes. Very early preliminary testing of the ash layer has revealed a higher than average alkaline reading suggesting the high presence of calcium. An indication of high calcium at this stage lends credence to the possibility of a lime industry which fits neatly into the idea of the columns being removed from the theatre, broken down, crushed, burnt and utilised in secondary manufacture.
This year being such short season see’s the Australian archaeological team targeting very specific goals and by the 4th day these goals look very much attainable in the current spirit of hard work and dedication to this fantastic site.