Day Six – Monday 7th September

All the ‘T’s today – Tean and Tresco.   Tean first – a lovely island we spent two weeks on in 2007 (see the blog) and it was good to be back although it bought back sad memories of the loss of a local lad on the final day we were on the island.  The search parties came to Tean looking for him – but to no avail.

Anyhow, we set to looking for peat deposits, once again digging and coring across East Porth first, and then moving across to West Porth. We found peat on the latter associated with the two sets of walls that run up the beach, we are becoming expert submerged wall spotters although once you start to spot lines of stones it can be hard to stop.

After lunch we returned to the jetboat and went over to Tresco again – marching a way down the island to check out a couple of beaches with previously recorded inter-tidal ‘ground surfaces’. 

Digging through large pebbles is not much fun, and the holes tended to fill up with water as fast as we could dig – however we persevered and continued to core, eventually locating underlying clay deposits and one again  3D mapping the deposits.  This was followed by a long trek up the island to the quay – by now the survey equipment was becoming very, very heavy and techniques for carrying the dreaded yellow box included putting it on your head and clutching it in your arms.  All the long hauls included lively conversations on how to better move equipment – balloons, Sherpa’s, quad bikes, goat carts, golf carts – in fact anything. 

We were greeted by the CISMAS divers and more samples of underwater peat deposits.  It is hard to take samples under-water as the energy needed to swing a hammer to push in the coring equipment is dissipated by the resistance of the water and any attempts to push down results in the diver floating up!  However thanks to the persistence of the diving teams we now have a couple of great samples.

After a swift dinner Charlie gave a talk at the museum which helps the team and the visitors to get a good overview of the project and the islands due to some new aerial shots that have been taken.  We were excited to hear from Amanda Martin (museum curator) that there are local historical reports of the peat and she offered to track them down for us.  Then off to the pub to discuss island archaeology into the night.


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