May 25th: A Curious Device
In yesterday’s post I mentioned a vertical standing board running from the west sidewall of 101.T3 and truncating the working floor discovered by Eric and Nick the day before. As digging continued on the 25th, this board was found to have a diagonal groove notched into its south face. Another groove ran vertically on its easternmost edge. Three large nails were also jutting out of this groove, nailed into the north side of the board. Just below (to the south, not beneath) this board was another board running perpendicular. It just so happened that this board tongued into the vertical groove, and had holes where those nails were once sat.
Much of the construction found up to this time at the site was simple stacking and lying of boards either side by side of one atop the other. tongue and groove work wasn’t seen until now, so this had to be a feature that was designed with a specific purpose.
As Nick kept digging down, he struck another set of boards about 20 cm further down that the boards mentioned above. These boards were not in place and looked somewhat damaged. They also contained a lot of copper residue or fineson their surface. we suspected this was some sort of funneling/settling table and that it once sat on a slant, fitted into the diagonal groove on the vertical standing board. Sure enough, the dimensions were correct. The perpendicular board was the eastern support for the funnel/table. we wouldn’t know if there was a corresponding opposite angled set of boards on the other side until we opened another trench unit… which we did.