the Excavation of
Non Muang Kao
Amphoe Non Sung
A 10 X 5 m area is laid out at NMK. C. Higham began digging, removing a 10 cm spit called 1:1. On the surface were found concentrations of sherds which look like sherd sheets/ fragments of whole pots. There were two which have been called Features 1 and 2 (F1 and F2)
Higham removed 1:2 which contained many sherds. Two pieces of possibly human bone encountered. Soil found to be very hard. One area has a layer of laterite over very red material.
Just under 1:1 F2 a piece of Bos mandible with M1-2.
1:2 F1 large block of irregular laterite
1:3 F1 Series of sherds comprising part of a complete vessel.
Higham removed 1:4. Hard, incredibly hard in some patches. Some very large pieces and fragments from pots-looks like occupation material. A few animal bones- mainly Bos 1:1-3 were 5 cm deep. 1:4 was 10 cm deep.
1:5 F1 is two partially complete pots of interesting forms. Pig and cattle bones.
1:5 F2 is the articulating skeleton of a tiny pig.
1:5 At the western end of the square, masses of partial pots, all bagged separately, and some animal bones, looks like a rubbish dump.
1:6 Colour and texture are similar to 1:5 but far less pottery. Still a scatter of animal bone.
1:7 Started. Within it a feature (F1) of antlers, animal bone pottery and ash. Photographed and planned. There was a nice straight line of rims along one edge between ash , red and matrix.
1:8 Fair bit of pottery and animal bone. It looks like occupation material.
1:7 F1 - A concentrated dump of sherds, shell and bone and a dense concentration of ash for c-14 dating.
1:8 F1 - is a rim sherd and ash spread.
1:8 F2 - Another piece of antler.
Back to 1:9-10. Same hard red material rich in bone and pottery. Higham put in a probe and 90 cm below ground surface, found layer 2- yellow, small chips of Phimai black and lots of ash/ lenses of burning.
At this point C. Higham stopped excavating NMK to go and begin work at Ban Lum Khao.
1:10 removed and 1:11. Have begun on 1:12 which is very close to surface of Layer 2 (though it seems deeper in the eastern end of the square). Ash hearth on N side has been removed- at least that which is in the square, most is in the section.
1:11 F1 -Ash hearth
1:11 F2 -Pottery concentration
1:11 F3 -Pottery concentration
1:11 F4 -Pottery concentration
Started on 1:13. Will be a sloping spit. 1:13 is very deep in the east of the square, shallow in the west. Many features in it pots and possible hearths. The hearths appear to be a little way (c. 5 cm) above the surface of yellow L. 2 will find out more tomorrow.
F1 - hearth
F3 - pot rim
F5 -lens of red soil in yellow. both red and yellow appear to be on top of the different yellow that is L. 2 - seems to have shell and pottery in it.
Ash etc. from hearths collected Pots left in for the time being. A lot of white clay appearing in the east part of the square. Including a circular feature c. 50 cm across.
F6 - lens of very yellow, sandy soil on top of L 2.
Lens of white clay in the east of square has turned into 2 platforms and a circular feature.
F1 - circular feature is a shallow dish in the red soil 7-10 cm thick lining of clay, red soil fill. half sectioned, photographed and removed.
F2 - post hole in upper platform, white clay rises up to a lip around post hole.
F3 -upper platform
F4 lower platform sectioned around 2.5 M mark (E-W) also very thin lens of white.
Posthole F2 excavated, F3 removed, white clay only 2-3 cm thick.
Divided square into two halves A1A (N-S)
Took out first spit of 2:1 in A1A N. Surface of 2:1 is quite uneven. Drops down in E end. There is a patch of burnt material with lots of charcoal under the clay platform ( 1:13 F4) That was removed. (4 buckets of soil sample kept).
In A1A S we followed the clay surface (1:13 F4) along underneath the upper clay surface that has already been removed (1:13 F3). Surface is dropping away towards the south section.
Burial 1 B1 (feet only) sitting on this clay surface with tibias disappearing into the baulk. Bones are sandwiched between two layers of clay.
Worked out why surface of L 2 drops in the east. There is a ditch dug into it, paralleled with and just inside the east section. It is obvious in the A1A N section of the square.
2:1 F1 has become a large pot base (c. 5 cm)with mixed soil above it with lots of charcoal in it. Nicely sealed by the clay platform.
1:13 F5 is an irregular pit with a flat bottom. Red L 1 soil fill cut into yellow L 2. Black pottery in fill.
Feature in 2:1 (North part of unit)
F1 -Burnt soil under platform (1:13 F4) includes pot base. Red burnt area to W and crumbly soil to E (with pot sherds possibly from large pot in it). Very definite edge along E of feature maybe lined with ash.
F2 -dark brown soil
F3 -dark brown soil
F4 -dark brown soil
Soil samples taken from F3 and F4.
A1A South section of unit
Transition L1-2 F6 is a hard steel grey lens of clay or plaster-like material. Similar in appearance to F3 or F4 but of a different colour. It is a very thin application.
Excavated L1-2 trans. F7 F8 and F9= post holes. F8 is not so convincing soil samples taken from all three. Further exposed L1-2 transition.
Began spit 2:1 in A1A South but postponed it while working on postholes. Began spit 2:3 in A1A North in the meantime. When finished will take A1A South section down to the same level 2:1 F6= pottery concentration.
Burial 2 B2 (skull) located in NE corner of square adjacent to but a bit lower than the iron slag (2:1 F5).
A1A South spit 2:1 completed, 2:2 begun. 2:1 F1 is still a mystery. Some definite edges appearing but seems to be a number of lenses of burning. Scraping back to the surface to try and locate edges etc. Why be a burial but lots of burning?
2:1 F6 has turned into a burial (B3) Black pottery, bangles and possibly some bone. Bone very poorly preserved.
Burial 2 Two sets of bronze bangles located to left of skull. Iron slag to right. Other bone (apart from the skull) seems poorly preserved.
A carbon sample was taken from a pot sherd scatter 2:1 F7 assoc. with a possible burnishing stone. Another c-14 sample was taken from 2:1 F1 This is now a square feature seen on plan 2:1.
2:1 F1 sectioned square feature removing reddish earth (possibly burnt). Encountered charcoal and ash near the bottom. The bottom of the feature is about 10 cm below the surface of 2:1. There was also black pottery and a chunk of iron slag in the feature.
2:2 F1 -Patch of burnt soil- circular, small
2:2 F2 -Patch of burnt soil with partially fired clay in it not a real pot?
2:2 F3 - Hearth filled with grey ash some charcoal taken
2:3 F1 - pieces of whole pots (2) separate cats. cat. 24 west, cat. 25 east.
2:3 F2 - Pottery spread associated with decayed laterite patch. Adjacent to B2 and iron slag concentration.
2:2 F4 -Whole pot ( become B4 skull beside it very close to feet of B1)
2:1 F1-Bulk sample of charcoal etc. ( for G.B. Thompson) taken from south and east of pot base.
Pot removed. Lots of charcoal under it, taken for c-14. Should date pot and hearth. Predate clay platform directly above it.
Bone in B2 appears to be largely disintegrated. Some indistinct traces visible in places. There are bangles to the left of the skull and to the east. More bronze rings to east also poorly preserved fragments.
Burial 3 Bone is not really visible. Some traces under pot and next to bangle.
Burial 4 B4 discovered yesterday under 2:2 F4
2:1 F1 This is still a lens of charcoal and ash now that the pot has been removed. Drawn today, including edge of whole feature.
N. B. Bag #32 and bag # 44 are the same context 2:1F1
L2 is increasingly full of ashy lenses and patches of charcoal. The main substrate becoming more and more yellow. Very fine, silty texture with little in it except very discrete concentrations of pottery. Something different is happening along the eastern section. Stays redder than the rest of the square and appears to be coming down onto a more clayey layer.
2:3 finished over whole unit. 2:1 F1 finally removed. Bottom of which is level with Surface 2:4. The circle in the centre of ash of this feature is soil upon which pot cat. 20 was sitting.
A new feature 2:3 F5 which may be related to 2:1 F1 has emerged. Basically covering the same area as the lower clay platform (L1-2 transition F4) it is again reddish, burnt (much charcoal) soil. There is a very clear edge (to yellow silty clay) running N-S from south section.
Copious soils sample of 2:1 F1 taken by G.B. Thompson
Charcoal sample from 2:3 F5
Five buckets of soil taken from 2:4
2:3 F6 excavated. Ashy, mixed soil lens. Comes down to hard red soil in corner of square and yellowish in places. 5 buckets of soil samples taken for G.B. Thompson. located well with in L2.
B1 and B2 drawn.
2:3 F5 sectioned. c. 10 cm deep from surface of 2:3. Much charcoal mixed in with reddish soil. Maybe related to odd lens in E section.
South-east corner of the square continues to be interesting. Another clay platform appearing at about 155 cm from datum. May turn out to be bottom of 2:3 F5 Pottery 2:1 F7 may be within the feature, sitting on clay floor and perhaps associated with a burial??
2:4 F1 Photographed
Postholes in 2:3 F5 sectioned and photographed.
2:3 F5 being removed down the clay surface
-posthole continues still need to be excavated further.
-stopping at section line E-W across 2:3 F5
B.2 drawn and photographed. Skull and other bones lifted Femurs left in E section.
N. Tayles looked at bones of B1 and 4 will leave feet of B1 and skull B4 pedestalled.
Continuing to uncover clay floor. One of the post moulds still contains the remains of wood, although it has turned to soil.
Continuing to reveal the surface of 2:6= clay floor. Very thick in places.
In other areas very thin. Probably a number of surfaces, not contemporary but close in time.
Lifted B3. Pot cat. 36 lifted. Bangles and another pot cat. 34 removed. This pot is crumbly and fragile unlike most of the pottery in the same level. Surrounded by white carbonised rice remains.
Pottery and clay under it lifted whole and given to G.B. Thompson to extract organics.
2:3 F2- Pottery scatter in laterite adjacent to B2. Laterite being removed coming down onto clay surface again. But also some postholes filled with laterite. (very small postholes, very red).
Barbara F. photographing postholes on surface of 2:6 (related to 2:3 F5)
Dougald continuing to remove fill of 2:3 F5 leaving west edge in place. Clay surface continuing to appear in post holes over the square.
Cleaned up B3. Found clay surface curved, bowl-like, in section under the pot. Quite deep below pot c. 15-20 cm.
Paul Rivet and Simon Spiers excavated posts (F7, F12 in layer 2:5-S6 ) Soil samples taken.
Barb and Steve cleared the SE corner. Layer 2:6 was begun in the SW quadrant- going down 10 cm.
Simon and Steve cleared the 2:3 F5 area for photos, taking carbon samples for Thompson.
2:3 F2 is confusing. Took off 2-3 cm to sort out what it is. Lots of laterite still there and lenses of clay as well.
2:6 has turned up a whole pot with rice around it (similar to B3). This was removed for flotation (bag 67) Barb photographed 2:3 F5 as well as 2:5 F2. Bill removed 2:6 F1, Barb removed charcoal at bottom of 2:3 F5 N of burial 1 but well beneath it. Continued to clear 2:6 in NW of unit.
Removed 2:5 F2 whole pot cat 49 found.
2:6 F1 c14 (bag 67) sample taken from a burnt area below the pottery.
Simon continued to expose the white layer under 2:3 F5. The white clay is to be called 2:5 F15. Nigel is hypothesising a house floor, I (Dougald) however am doubtful. The pots in 2:3F9 and F10 are being cleaned and photographed.
Continued to expose the white clay area in 2:5 F15
NE corner, 2:3 F2 and burial 2 can now be distinguished in the section as separate features. The latter is stopping against the grave cut. The post holes from 2:3 F2 are filled with laterite pebbles and pottery.
One hole 2:5 F16 is filled with a very fine grit, and appears to open out at a lower depth. Samples taken.
Many postholes appearing in the SE corner, amongst the pots and next to B4. These postholes appear to begin above the level of 2:5 F15 clay surface.
Lots of features appearing in 2:5 F15 clay surface. Linear features possibly seatings for wooden structures. And a large circular feature- maybe another pot burial similar to 2:5 F2 but larger.
2:6 F8 is turning into another floor with disturbed edges. Much rice remains, charred and white, turning up the fill to the East of the original linear exposure.
2:3 F8 pottery scatter had charcoal below it: all of which rested upon a white clay bed which may be associated with the bottom of 2:3 F5 which was also a white clay bed.
Photographed B4 and associated pots in the SE corner. The bangle in the wall (cat 53) has some bone associated with it. Both items of bronze were removed. The pots will be removed on the 29th.
2:6 F8 is still being uncovered. Much rice and white fibres. some other features, post holes etc. appearing.
Pots 2:3 F9, F10, F7 and F8 have been removed.
Pots associated with B4 have also been removed. A new pot has been uncovered close to and partially beneath the skull.
Charcoal sample 2:3 F13 taken lots of sticks in different directions close to but c. 30 cm below the feet of B1.
Dougald sectioning postholes in SE corner.
When removing 2:3 F2 (pot) noted that the pot appeared to be sitting in a closely cut hole in the clay layer and upon another thin clay layer. Also to the SW of the pot another sloping surface of clay was revealed. It slopes toward the SW and runs longitudinally SE to NW. Perhaps another floor below 2:3 F15.
Kaek has suggested that the clay floors may be threshing floors.
Charles has suggested that we can now see Iron Age burials cut down into a level of domestic or industrial use (the floors). However B1 still needs to be explained as it seems to be associated with one of the clay floors.
The posts in 2:5 F9 and F10 sectioned yesterday were 4 cm and 2 cm deep respectively. The contents were bagged for flotation. Simon sectioned 2:3 F14 located in SW corner.
2:6 F9 is an area of dark friable soil, identified and excavated during the removal of 2:5 F1. There is a large shelf in this feature extending from the section (burial??)
A pseudomorph of a post is visible in F5
In F8 there is a clay lipping that goes up to the former location of the post.
Simon sectioned 2:3 F14, soil sample taken.
2:6 F8 now revealed as far as it can until 2:3 F15 (clay floor) is removed. A number of features revealed-postholes, a linear feature, similar to those forming the "cross" in 2:3 F15.
2:3 F17 posthole noted in 2:6 F8 (clay floor) can actually be traced through the section to 2:3 F15 floor. It appears to be a large posthole c. 20 cm across with an obvious post mould, c. 10 cm across.
No further work on the floor 2:6 F8 until floor 2:3 F15 has been removed. 2:3 F15 seems to become more and more difficult to find. It is difficult to know whether it is all the same floor or not. If not they are probably closely related in time.
2:7 completed in the west section of the square. Many features identified, mostly post-moulds.
2:7 F1- clump of soil with green stained clod in top
2:7 F2- grey soil lens with rice and pottery
2:7 F3- posthole?
2:7 F4- square edged feature
2:7 F5- post mould, perhaps 2 close together.
2:7 F6- post hole
2:7 F7- Small feature? Probably not a post.
2:7 F8- soft soil feature probably related to feature in spit above (2:6 F5) (along with 2:7 F5)Possibly tree roots.
2:7 F9 small posthole
2:7 F10 small posthole with white fibres still init.
2:7 F11 posthole
2:7 F12 posthole
2:7 F13 Pottery
2:7 F14 Pottery
2:7 F15 posthole
2:7 F16 pottery
2:7 F17 pottery
Dougald and Warren sectioning 2:5 F11
Bill Boyd began sectioning the moat with a hired excavation machine. His trench is over 5 m deep.
Sectioned features in 2:5. 2:5 F11 was dug down until another white clay floor was encountered, 16 cm below the surface. There appears to be a post in the section.
Warren cleaned and drew the section of 2:5 down to the white clay floor (2:6 F8). There are a number of posts which cut down and disturb 2:6 F8
2:7 F8 appears to be a tree root hole. Very soft fill with tunnels radiating off in different directions. There is a lens of rice or other organic matter in the bottom. Soil samples taken.
2:7 F1 and F8 both appear to bee associated with larger areas of burning or at least heated soil. Very little visible charcoal but colour change obvious in the soil.
2:5 F3 In section this was a dish shaped feature. Mottled red and brown and some charcoal in the bottom. It was 6 cm in depth.
2:5 F26 was a ghostly post mould. Red in colour it penetrated 2:6 F8 so a depth was unobtainable.
2:5 F8 sectioned, it was a dark red colour. A soil sample was taken. 6 cm deep.
2:5 F25 was 6 cm deep in section
2:5 F22 3 cm deep in section.
2:5 F23 5 cm deep in section.
2:5 F7 cm deep in section, red fill.
The crossing channels in 2:5, F24 did not show up in the section. It was more or less just a gap in the white clay.
2:8 general spit has been taken out in the western third of the unit. Large areas of organic remains turning up. Also areas of compacted laterite nodules and quartz pebbles, very discreet areas.
2:7 F13 is still being excavated. It is turning into a large area of broken pottery. Rims included. Looks a bit like a drain. Some of the sherds are stained the same sulphurous green as the rice from yesterday-cess pit???
2:7 F10 excavated and samples taken by G.B. Thompson. White fibres intact to a good depth at least 15 cm.
Have begun to take away floor surface 2:5 F15. First spit 2:6
Dougald has drawn section of 2:5 F11
Drew map of 2:8 -Surface 9
F1- rice covered clay surface. This lies below F2 which is a pebbly lateritic soil. Both are located in the SW corner of the unit.
F3 and F4 are similar lateritic deposits.
F5 is a small burnt patch.
2:7 F13 photographed. Pottery spread has broken strangely resembling a polished drain, with a vertical wall at the NE end.
2:5 F27 photographed.
Cleaned back a section of 2:5 F15 and photographed it. South section. Continued exposing 2:6 F8
Burial 5 B5 was found by Hallie. Associated with 2:8 F2. There is a clay lens about 10 cm above the burial. So far we have found a bronze ring and a infant (approx 2 yrs) mandible. It is also associated with 2:7 F4
Took spit 2:6 down 10 cm. Paul is putting in a datum to the west of the excavation,
Bone found in SE corner below 2:5 small fragments maybe human. Glass beads in general spit, SE corner.
2:6 F12 -bottoms out 5 cm, mottled and non-descript
2:6 F15 -circular post hole 5 cm under layer of red clay.
2:6 F14 -human bone/pottery and burnt bamboo recovered.
2:6 F16 -sectioned leaving S wall revealing flat bottomed feature 5 cm deep.
2:6 F13 -beads found with rice chaff.
2:6 F13 was removed and the surface below it was very mottled.
Jopped into 2:6 F8 fill on S end of pit. Uncovered the clay floor which began to dip. Mapped circular feature F17 F15. F18 sectioned (posthole) nothing found. Bones found in centre of F14.
2:6 F8 continuing to expose. Deep in the S end sloping down from about 1.5 m from S section. Two pottery features recovered. 2:6 F20 contains bronze earrings or small bangles and one iron bangle associated.
2:6 F21 some specks of bone and glass beads. Bx
Depths over last couple of layers should be treated with caution as the line level has not been functioning properly.
In the SW corner of 2:6 F8 we can see where the clay layer envelops the pottery (and presumably the body). How this relates to the white floor remains to be seen.
Dougald and Simon have mapped most of 2:6 F8 surface but some is still being revealed at the southern end.
2:6 F20 is at least one pot, associated with bronze rings and a bimetallic large ring (similar to that found in B4).
2:6 F21 another whole pot.
Glass beads are associated, loosely with these features. Basically beads occur in the south end of the feature where it begins to dip down. They are in the general fill. Those near the W edge are nearly all yellow (cat. 72). Two other groupings are identified. Those from near the E baulk are multi coloured (brown, green, blue and black) as well as yellow (cat. 76). The third group is from close to 2:6 F21 (cat. 77).
2:6F20 appears to be unassociated with 2:6 F8 floor. Probably disturbed 2:6 F8 when it was deposited. Clay floor associated with 2:6 F20 is thick and of different appearance (colour?) than 2:6 F8 floor.
B6 has been located in the area of 2:6 F14. Have taken samples of rice and laterite from 2:6 F2. Am beginning 2:9 in the western area of the square.
Dougald and Simon have been mapping the floor of 2:6 F8. Many features which are noted as 2:6 features 8.1-n and should be distinguished from other 2:6 feature numbers.
In the morning Nigel helping Bill in his trench through the middle of the site. In the square Greap (Thai colleague) is uncovering B6. There appears to be great quantities of preserved rice in the grave fill as well as pieces of the clay floor. The burial appears to be cut through the clay floor. 2 beads were found associated with the bones. In the SW of the unit 10 cm was removed. In the NW of the unit a queer green/yellow substance was discovered in the matrix of 2:9. The clay floor in this area at 2:8 surface of 9 was excavated around. There was also a general clean up of the site.
In the afternoon Greap turned up some burnt bamboo around B6 and a bit of copper alloy. In the NW area a rectangular feature appeared. It was filled with what B. Boyd described as basal bedrock material. We debated whether or not to call this level 3. Decided against it and it is 2:9 Surface of 10. The rectangular feature is 2:9 F2. 2:9 F1 is a burnt area with organic material on the top in the SW corner of the unit.2:9 S10 was mapped on a smaller black graph paper as our regular paper did not make it to the site.
A yellow/green area-very peculiar was also uncovered in the NW, it was labelled F3
Paul removed B5 (the infant) from the W baulk.
Suan (Thai worker) sectioned F2. The fill was stony. Black pottery was found in the bottom and a small amount of burnt bamboo. The feature was 8 cm deep. N-S the feature was 5 cm W-E it was 31 cm.
Dougald and Paul began drawing E section.
Dougald and Paul continue with E section. Wilbert and Frank (Earthwatch Volunteers) Taking out 2:7 F12 drain feature. They are removing it in numbered sections.
Simon and Meph drawing 2:6 F20, 21, 22, 23 etc. on map. These features are nominally associated with 2:6 F8 floor, hence the numbering system. However B6 is cut through the floor and is disturbed itself. 2:6 F20 should be a burial, broken pots, bronze rings and iron rings too. Will remove pots to see if bones appear.
Unsure if clay under pots is part of 2:6 F8 floor or a separate feature associated with a possible burial. Nigel thinks the latter is more likely.
2:6 F21 appears to be floating in fill above the 2:6 F8 floor. Will have to be removed to see if the main floor continues underneath it.
Charles has said we should be wrapped up by the middle of next week. So we will sort out the S end of the floor 2:6 F8, photograph it and then remove it down to 2:9-S10 level we have revealed in the western part of the square.
Dougald and Paul working on the N section.
Meph and Simon lifting pots (cat. 85 and 86) in 2:6 F20, nominally two pots, north and south, but are jumbled together. A lot of organics found amongst the pottery. Soil samples taken. Possibly third pot as well.
Dougald and Paul are drawing the S section. Pots from 2:6 F21 and 24 have been lifted in order to trace the clay floor 2:6 F8 further.
Kate removed skull of B4. Noted green staining on underside of mandible. Ear rings copper alloy.
Dougald removed the remaining bits of pottery from the baulk in B3 as well as some bronze ring fragments. Later the pot in the baulk in the N was removed (2:6 F4). Chin and Chuan continued to expose B6 which is turning out to be quite rich. There have been several bronze and iron rings-totalling seven so far. The burial is poorly preserved however.
The deepest part of the excavation at this point is 1.50 m from the W wall. In the rest of the unit 2:6 F8 remains exposed and is likely where we will end this seasons excavation.
Nigel drew B6, Simon sieved for beads.
Yesterday B6 was removed. Appears to extend N-S from the S section. Six iron rings removed from this burial. No bones so far apart from decayed skull and a few bones around it. Much rice about the skull and in patches throughout the burial as well.
Next season should expose the floor 2:6 F8 and dig postholes etc. section the floor.
2:3 F9 and F10 pots have been removed. The remainder from the section same for pot cat. 34 from B3.
Deeper section near W wall. To depth of 2:9-S10. Surface of 10 has a number of finds turning up. It is mostly burnt or heated surfaces.
B6 continues! More bangles etc. We covered the burial with plastic bags to continue work on it next year.
Covered the bottom of the unit with rice sacks. Removed the table, screens etc. Knocked down the screening shelter and back-filled the pit. We have left the roof over the pit standing.
1/12/96 (Dougld O'Reilly Principal Investigator)
The last four days have been spent removing the back fill from the 5 X 5 m unit. A roof has been constructed for the screening.
Everything is as we left it last year.
This year we are using a dumpy level for the elevations to improve the accuracy. The same datum is being used, a nail in the post which supports the roof. The nail (datum) is 17.0 cm above the natural ground surface.
We swept the floor 2:6 F8 and began sectioning some of the post hole features.
2:6 F 8.15 -2 5 cm deep, 28 wide.
2:6 F 8.12 - 56 cm deep, 15 cm wide
2:6 F 8.19 - 18 cm deep, 41 cm and 11 cm wide (two posts).
2:6 F 8.5 - 6.5 cm deep 22 cm wide.
2:6 F8.4 - 14 cm deep, 30 cm wide.
2:6 F8.16 - 5 cm deep, 30 cm wide.
2:6 F8.14 - Not a post.
2:6 F8.15 Too difficult to see.
2:6 F8.16 - Too difficult to see.
2:6 F8.1 - Pot sherd in bottom, hard to see outline.
2:6 F8.19 - Distinct grey outline in mottled mass looks like a mould within a mould.
2:6 F8.7 and 8.8 - non features
2:6 F8.1 - 8.5 cm deep, 27 cm wide.
2:6 F8.11 - 24 cm deep, 30 cm wide.
2:6 F8.3 - is a blackened surface exposed to heat at some point.
2:6 F8.6 5 cm deep, 16 cm wide.
There is a small discrepancy in the depth of the area in the west of the square and the rest of the unit. The map and Last years notes say the surface of 2:10 has been reached in the W. The rest of the unit is 2:6 F8. There is however only a 20 cm difference between the heights of the two levels.
I have decided to remove 5 cm spits until the surface of 2:10 is reached all over the unit.
The floor feature has been sectioned and drawn. Kirsten and I continued working on B6 which is very friable.
Another white clay floor has been found near the bottom of 2:7 on the east side of the unit. Have begun to expose it.
Pot scatters along the N wall have been assigned 2:7 F1 and 2:7 F2. The white clay will be 2:7 F3
A section drawing of 2:6 F8 showing a x-section facing south has been done.
Began today trying to expose more of 2:7 F3. The feature appears to be a complete floor. It is terribly disturbed. In the middle of the new floor, there is a patch of earth containing rice, which is the middle of the badly disturbed area. Could it be a burial? The pot (complete) at one end of the disturbed area is 2:7 F4.
The workers have broken 4 marshalltown trowels on the rock hard soil. Four bags of 2:7 soil have been set aside for phytolith analysis.
By the end of the day it was apparent that no more of 2:7 F3 would be found. The surface of the unit was swept for mapping of 2:7. Also kept a sample of 2:6 F8 just in case last years gets lost.
Drove to the site in an old yellow Toyota- the site vehicle. Completed mapping 2:7-S8 showing the clay floor 2:7 F3. Shot in new level points.
Began sectioning the features in 2:7-S8
2:7 F6 - 5.3 cm deep.
2:7 F7 - 3.0 cm deep.
2:7 F8 - 7.0 cm deep.
2:7 F10 - 17.5 cm deep.
2:7 F1 cleaned and photographed. This feature is similar to the drain found by Nigel. Removed the feature.
Kirsten removed the feet from B4 and excavated under the tibias. We will remove the pedestal today.
Will remove another 5 cm (2:8) and expose the surface of 2:9.
Completed the above by 11 AM.
There is a good chance we have encountered a new burial. (F5). Jopping has revealed some iron and copper alloy below B4 in layer 2:8. There is also some white clay which may be associated with it. All this is in the SE corner of the unit.
Scraped down 2:8-S9 and swept it by 2 PM. There doesn't appear to be very many features so we should be able to draw it this afternoon.
Post moulds, 2:8 F1 3 cm deep. 2:8 F2 7 cm deep.
Mapped 2:8 S9.
Windy morning. Enjoyed Carabow (Thai rock band) concert last night!
Began the day by shooting in some elevations from 2:8 -S9 . Sectioned a couple of posts and prepared to dig the next level.
2:8-S9 F4 18 cm deep by 14 cm wide. We then began to remove 2:9 and make it level to the surface of 2:10 where we left off last year in the west section of the unit.
Cleaned 2:S10 and drew map. There is limited no. of features, a couple of blackened areas and some more patches of white clay. It is possible these may be burial related as the profile in section E baulk is similar to the other graves found (ie sealed).
Began today by taking levels on 2:9-S10
Worked 2:8 F5, exploring to see what would appear. Some rice remains were found and a glass bead (yellow) as well as a fragment of iron.
I worked near the clay plaster in the E of the unit (2:10 F1) Followed the white clay but it was badly disturbed.
2:9 F6 is a burnt area on the N baulk. Photographed. Sectioned
2:9 F10 was just a surface scatter of laterite 1 cm or so deep.
2:9 F11 was a laterite impression, 4 cm deep.
2:9 F12 2 cm deep.
2:9 F8 4 cm deep.
2:9 F9 5 cm deep.
Some bone was jopped in the NW corner of the unit named it 2:10 F2.
Began by removing 10 cm spit down to surface of 2:11.
Finished removing 2:10.
Kirsten cleaned up burial 6 and found a great agate bead, milky with clear stripes. Drew the burial and photographed it.
Drew map of 2:10 -S11. Found a new clay floor beneath the surface. Spent the rest of the day uncovering it.
Continued uncovering the clay floor this morning.
The clay floor has been designated 2:11 F1. It appears to incorporate several post moulds and a lip runs down the middle.
Continued to uncover the clay floor (2:11 F1). There are fire blackened areas along the east baulk. There appears to be a break in the floor, but it reappears again close to the S baulk.
Also near the S baulk we found an iron ring (*) which for now is called 2:11 F1.1. There is a possibility that the clay floor beneath it is actually grave lining-we shall see.
Last night the bangles on the legs of B6 were damaged by curious visitors.
Cleaned up B6 to take photos.
Continued to expose 2:11 F1
With Sara's camera, 1 shot the whole of B6, the rings on the legs, the left finger rings, the arm rings, the right finger rings (left hand on the skeleton), iron ring near S baulk.
Paul worked on the other iron ring near the south wall (*) on diagram and removed it (cat. 125).
Encountered a black pot in 2:11 near the S wall, a bit deeper than the iron ring (70 cm from S-280 cm from W wall). The pot is not salvageable completely disintegrated. Called it 2:11 F1.3.
Began to map 2:11 F1 with Paul. Spent some time straightening the walls.
Continued mapping 2:11 F1 The feature went into the S baulk so we followed it. The women worked on the W side of the unit removing about 10 cm which will be called 2:12 -so 2:12 will be a small spit because the rest of the unit down to the same level was fill from 2:11 F1.
B6 cuts through this floor, and so far no other evidence of ti being a mortuary structure has been uncovered.
Continued to uncover the clay in the S sector and the others worked removing 10 cm of 2:12 near the W baulk.
Maeow found a scatter of pottery associated with burning (no charcoal) and rice. Have called it 2:12 F1. Another feature of burnt soil/rice was found about 30 cm away (2:12 F2).
2:12 F4 is a scatter of pottery near the W wall.
Removed two of the most vulnerable artefacts from B6, the iron ring and bronze bangles (cat. 126 and 127).
The afternoon brought the discovery of yet another clay floor below 2:11 F1. There may even be two more clay floors!!
2:12 F 3 is a large piece of bamboo c. 30 cm taken as a carbon sample.
Exposed the clay floor by the S baulk. Paul removed the goodies from B6. We cleaned the surface of the new floor (beneath 2:11 F1 and flattened the surface of 2:12 -S13.
Finished mapping 2:11 F1 and photographed.
Another feature was found in the W part of the unit, blackened soil associated with the pottery 2:12 F4. The new feature has been designated 2:12 F5.
Cleaning the remains of B6 it is very clear the body was laid on a bed of rice, samples taken.
Began today by removing the clay floor 2:11 F1 and bagging part of it. I have decided not to section any of the features in the floor because the clay floor below would be badly damaged.
It appears the floor revealed may be a replastering of anther floor which is 2 cm below it.
In B6 I removed the rice bottom, under which is a clay floor. I am unsure whether it is the bottom of the burial proper, with a purposely place floor or whether it is the floor 2 cm below (as mentioned above).
Paul and Joy sectioned the post with the clay built up around it (2:11 F1.4) and the clay wall (2:11 F1.5). Slides were taken.
2:11 F1 directly under the clay floor in the NE corner was a large sample of rice with burning.
Determined that the clay in the bottom of B6 is not part of the burial but is another "house" floor.
Continued removing 2:11 F1 and 2:12 in the E part of the unit. There was very little of interest in 2:12 in the E.
There is a very apparent colour change from red to more grey in the matrix just below 2:12. It has been decided to change the Layer assignment to 3.
A clay floor could be seen in 3:1 so we continued down to it and exposed it.
The new clay floor is called 3:1 F3.
Spent entire day cleaning the clay floor(3:1 F3). There appears to be a dip in the middle of the floor. 3:1 F2 filled with pottery. The floor is not as impressive as the one before it unfortunately.
Began by cleaning unit, preparing it for mapping and photography. Completed mapping 3:1 F3.
After drawing the map showing 3:1 F3 the unit was uneven level-wise. The clay floor actually went into 3:2. In the W side of the unit the spit was 3:S1, so I levelled off that so the entire unit was at 3:2.
At this point several curious burning features appear along the edge of where the clay floor ended. There is also an area of rice, pottery, bone and a large stone in the NW corner (3:1 F7)
In the rest of the unit, directly beneath the clay floor and possibly related to burning mentioned above, is extensive blackening of the soil. There is however no charcoal.
Back along the W side, a pit filled with pottery and laterite granules was discovered (3:1 F8).
In the SE corner (3:1 F3) dipped down to a depth of 2.16 m. In the SW portion of the unit 3:2 and 3:3 had to be removed to level the unit out. So 3:2 and 3:3 in the E part of unit were really the only fill of 3:1 F3.
Finished removing 3:2 in W of unit. Cleaned and mapped, took elevations, on surface of 3:3. 3:3 F1 is a figure 8 feature, of burnt soil, two circles abutting. This is a crust over the top, below lies powdery grey ash. F2 is an area of fire blackened soil. Curiously it follows a straight line.
A very strange feature. The top circle was about 9 cm deep when sectioned. The middle was fired orange earth surrounded by very fine grey ash. S of this was another circular feature. It was hard on the top yet also contained a "passage", not unlike a burrow full of the same ash.
I am unable to explain its purpose. Samples taken, c-14 and soil.
Removed 3:3 mapped, took elevations etc. Very few features.
3:4 F1 an area of darkened soil with clumps of burnt clay. There was some fragmentary shell, a glass bead (cat. 139) and pot sherds in the feature, very midden-like.
In the middle of the unit a chunk of slag? was found (cat. 138).
3:4 F2 was a broken pot.
3:4 F3 was a piece of animal bone (disintegrated unidentifiable). There was some broken pottery associated.
Removed about half of 3:4.
Finished removing 3:4. Soil hard as ever!!!
There was only one feature apparent which extended to the E baulk from 3:1 F2 which is still in place 3:5 F1 is apparently a midden deposit, containing shell, pottery and reddened earth, perhaps indicating burning. 3:S5 was mapped and elevations taken.
Began removing 3:5.
Finished removing 3:5 in the AM. Cleaned and mapped it.
3:S6 showed some interesting features, posts and the edge of a new floor. Began to clear this floor feature.
Den uncovered an area in3:6 with loads of rice, yellow beads and Phimai black pottery. Expecting a burial! This has been designated 3:6 F1. B y
We continued to expose the clay floor 3:6 F2. We also found that the floor is cut through by 3:6 F1 which contained all the beads, rice and pottery. Very nearly completed cleaning the floor, a few more hours should finish it.
Den and San dug a hole in the trench where B. Boyd had excavated last year. I wanted them to retrieve a sample of white clay which I spotted in the trench last year. I suspect it may be the source of the clay floor features.
The rest of us continued cleaning 3:6 F2. Drew it and took photographs.
Began removing soil which surrounded 3:6 F2- I want to reach the surface of 3:7. Joy excavated 3:6 F1 and found 444 beads. I excavated 3:6 F3 which was a circular feature.
F1 21 cm deep.
F3 32 cm deep.
We proceeded to remove the white clay floor. In many places it was already into the spit 3:7. It was decided to take off the clay and map 3:7 as it was.
Near the SE corner I found an iron artefact encased in the lip of the clay floor. It was 56 cm from the south baulk, 49 cm from the east. The artefact was 15.5 cm long. It is cat. 142. It was 2.54 M below datum.
Cleaned 3:7 and mapped it. Began to excavate 3:8 down to the surface of 3:9. there were some interesting features found. F1 was a long grey shape filled with rice silica, bone and small pot sherds. Sectioned it. The yellowish brown was 33 cm across and 6.5 cm deep at the deepest.
F2 was a square feature of red clay beside a line of white clay similar to all the floors. Thankfully there was not another floor. Cannot explain F2!
Mapped the burnt floor feature in 3:9. Very little charcoal but the sol is greyish in colour, lots of tiny fragments of pottery. Some areas burnt orange.
Removed 3:9 and mapped surface of 3:10. This surface was very interesting, it revealed a line of posts along the E baulk. Along the W baulk there was a straight line with different coloured soil on either side of it. I assume these posts are wall supports relating to the floor above. In the middle of all this is a concentration of rice, c. 50 cm long and 20 cm wide (F1). Joy began sectioning it. Looks as though it may be a burial. She retrieved a good sample of rice. B7
Joy worked on the possible burial feature.
George (Ewatch) worked on a feature in the SW corner which may be a smithing hearth (in 3:10). It is heavily tempered clay, super heated so it is white-yellow and orange. The temper appears to be rice chaff and stems as opposed to just rice husks. I would suppose that was done so that the clay could withstand repeated thermal stress.
While the above was being done we continued to remove 3:10.
Joy reported that the consistency of the soil in burial (B7) was of fine ash as it was full of rice. It was therefore impossible to excavate in a conventional manner as artefacts shifted very easily, with the brush of the leaf trowel. There appears to be no bone yet. It seems the hole is full of rice and nothing else! Joy removed two sets of copper alloy wires twisted into spirals (1.4 cm in diameter). cat.s 144 and 145. A complete Phimai black bowl cat. 146 and pot sherds cat. 147.
There is disturbed white clay all around the area of B7. A white feature ( 3:S11 F4) lies to the NW of the grave cut. photographed it and the possible smithing hearth.
Sectioned the possible smithing hearth. Joy sectioned the white clay square 3:11 F4 which had a white powdery layer 2 cm thick, beneath which lay a layer of fine soft yellowish-brown clayey material about 4 cm thick. A sample of the white clay was removed revealing a layer of very red soil beneath. There was also a great deal of pottery embedded in the white material.
3:11 F1 was sectioned revealing a white clay floor beneath it. In this floor three post moulds were identified going through the clay floor. There is a large lump of charcoal in the section of the hearth, and the clay is burnt yellow orange.
Finished removing 3:11 which didn't take as long as usual as the soil seems to be softer.
I believe there is another burial in the W part of the unit. A grave cut is fairly obvious and rice is appearing.
The grave appears in a matrix of Khaki coloured soil/sand. There appears to be a sharp division across the square running N-S.
Cleaned the surface of3:12, drew map and did elevations.
Joy and Kelly excavated the grave cut B8 in which a Phimai black bowl (cat. 151) and some small bangles were found. The grave cut was absolutely full of carbonised rice very fluffy and white, loads of it!! It would appear to be a child burial as the cut is only 130 cm long and the bangles are quite small. No bone was recovered. C-14 samples taken, no.s 11 and 12.
The grave cut appeared to reduce in size about 3 cm down (see map 3:S12).
Finished removing 3:12 to the surface of 3:13- This should put us at 3 M below datum.
Smoothed surface of 3:13. Mapped and took elevations.
A few post moulds were apparent. The only major thing was a possible smithing hearth in the NW corner. It was a white clay depression filled with ash and charcoal. (C-14 no. 13). There was also some heavily tempered clay removed from the feature. It was cleaned and photographed. Began to remove 3:13. Another C-14 sample taken no. 14.
We managed to finish 3:14 in which there was little of any note.
Finished removing the loose soil of 3: 14. Mapped surfaces and took elevations. There appears to be a good deal of industrial activity represented in this surface. Along the E baulk there is a large grey area; much disturbed, associated with a possible smithing hearth at the N end.
There is a suspicious grave shaped feature (4:1 F2) in the NE which Joy is investigating. Directly above that feature there was another feature circular with a ring of white clay around it, orange in the middle, from burning. It has been called 4:1 F1.
4:1 F2 excavated. Contained nothing. However beneath the darkish brown layer of the surface was a light, almost golden, yellow sand "pit". This was very fine and soft.
4:1 F1 sectioned, it was a bowl of white clay filled with light orange. A post could also be seen in section. Some kind of industrial feature for sure. Drawn photographed.
4:1 F3 In section very similar to F1. It also had a bowl of white clay filled with red. Posts could be seen in association with it. Photographed and drawn.
Cleaned 4:S2. It should be noted that there was very little pottery in 4:1. The layer designation was changed due to a change in soil colour, to a consistent brown.
4:2 contains very little in the way of features and very little pottery. The soil is the same homogeneous brown. This may in fact be the surface of natural. The elevations of the brown layer (4):
NW - 3.12 m below datum.
NE - 3.11 m below datum.
SW - 3.07 m below datum.
SE - 3.06 m below datum.
I had an exploratory hole dug in the NE corner to see whether it really was natural. The homogeneous quality seems to continue.
Joy and I drew the South section.
Spent some time measuring the moats and getting elevations on the embankments.
Dug another 40 cm in the test pit to really make sure it was natural. There is now .75 m of the brown matrix with no disturbance. The sterile soil is harder than anything previously encountered. Bent a jop blade while excavating it!
Only two features were noted in 4:3, that was sherds in the NW corner. They were at the bottom of a post hole cut from 4:1. A C-14 sample was taken also from the bottom of the hole. The other feature is a dark stained area in the NW corner.
Spent the day drawing sections.
Excavated the final feature, the stain in the NW corner. It runs about 190 cm and appears to be associated with the industrial activity. As it was sectioned a significant amount of rice turned up! We then uncovered a Phimai black shouldered pot. Some animal teeth and later several agate beads (33), glass beads (3) and clay beads (454) as well as a possible carnelian bead. A burial !! No bone recovered yet though. B9
The burial (B9) is only partially sticking out of the W baulk. There is a small amount of human bone apparent but we are unable to identify it.
There is nothing left in the grave cut. This burial was cut well into natural.
Joy and I finished drawing the sections today and photographed them. We cleaned up all the rubbish and excavation gear.
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