Day 4 of excavation of Lager Wick, 30/3/15: a day of new architectural discoveries!

Today the sun shone – such a pleasant change after yesterday’s storm! And our geophysicist, Peter, finally made it over from Guernsey in the middle of the night, so he was able to carry out and complete the magnetic susceptibility survey today (see picture) in the hope of detecting areas of burning within the area where we know a barrack block burnt down in 1944. He identified a couple of areas of high readings, so we used the auger to do a quick soil sample and lo! We found small traces of burning (see picture). Alleluia! So our hopes are high for our first trench.

In the meantime, Claudia and I finished off the work we wanted to complete on the latrine block. The main question that puzzled us was the doorway – how did people get into the block? Where was the door? Claudia found 3 stairs hiding under the soil and a layer of ivy, and spent the day revealing them (see picture). We also tested our hypothesis that the latrine block was at the end of a bigger barrack block. We had wondered whether that barrack was entirely made of wood or whether it had a concrete foundation like the latrine block, so dug a couple of small test pits, but in both we found only the layer of sand upon which the camp was built, which confirmed that the block was at the end of a wooden barrack block.

At the end of the day we opened the first trench around the area where the auger suggested a layer of burning could be found. But within 10cm of the surface we found a grey clay brick surface! We devoted only 30 minutes at the end of the day to uncovering what we could in a short space of time and will extend the trench and dig it properly tomorrow, but what do these bricks represent? Why are they there? We think that they’re a floor surface – perhaps at the entrance to a barrack block. More will be revealed tomorrow!

Claudia's beautiful stairs!

Claudia’s beautiful stairs!

Peter doing his mag sus survey

Peter doing his mag sus survey

Core sample showing a layer of burning.

Core sample showing a layer of burning.

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About Gilly Carr

I am a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Continuing Education. I work in the field of conflict archaeology and POW archaeology, and my fieldwork is based in the Channel Islands.

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