Fabulous Finds with Brecon Beacons YAC
In January 2016, Brecon Beacons YAC had a finds processing session using the finds from our visit to the excavations at Llangynidr Mill last year. We had a look at some of the different things we might come across in our finds trays, such as pottery, glass, metal, plaster and bone. We talked about how we should deal with each one.
We then split up into groups of four and went to our own finds tray and started to examine and sort the finds. Washing and brushing was soon underway with plenty of ideas as to what the finds were. Some were easy to identify like a shoe buckle or a piece of window glass but some of the metal work was so bent and rusted that our enthusiastic teams were still brushing away when it was time to begin cataloguing.
Describing and drawing
Someone was volunteered to do the writing while the rest of the team got thinking. How do we describe this find? How big is it? What colour is it? What is it made of? For the YAC members, getting their hands on real finds from a real dig was really getting the thinking cells going all around the room.
Next, we got down to drawing and photographing. The YAC members drew their chosen find to scale. We had some fantastic work with great care taken with scale and accuracy.
We set up a lighting box to photograph small finds and coped with the larger items by using just a sheet of white paper and a scale. The members took all the photos themselves.
We finished up with nearly everyone gathering to discuss the session and trying to put together the story of the mill site by looking at the finds. I say nearly all of us… because some of the budding illustrators could not be dragged away from their work!
The interest and standard of work was tremendous and we can fairly say that this was a session enjoyed by all. We have some great photographs and drawings to show off and everyone has a much better idea now of what happens when the digging is done.
Blog by Sue Ware, Brecon Beacons YAC Assistant
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