Soil Sample Processing, 16th & 17th November 2015

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Events, Post-excavation, Public archaeology
Soil Sample Processing, 16th & 17th November 2015

Castlehill Heritage Centre,  10am to 4.30pm

AOC’s environmental specialist Jackaline Robertson will be at Castlehill Heritage Centre later this month, leading the processing of the soil samples that were collected during fieldwork earlier this year. The buckets of soil that were so lovingly collected by our volunteers will be sorting using CHC’s flotation tank. The entire contents of the buckets are tipped into water and gently manipulated with the hands, so that soil/sediments are washed away. Heavy materials such as pebbles etc. sink to the bottom and are collected, dried, weighed and sorted. Small artefacts such as flints or fragments of pottery are often found in amongst this material. Light ecofacts such as seeds, charcoal and charred grains float to the top of the water and are collected in a series of sieves. These are also dried, sorted and assessed, yielding interesting information about flora and fauna in the past.

Although this task takes place indoors, warm clothes are recommended, as well as wellies/overalls and waterproofs to keep you clean(ish) and dry! Wet sieving tends to get rather messy…

If you would like to come along and take part in the wet sieving, please do drop me an email at to let me know, so Jack knows how many helpers she will have!


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