As we are closing in at the bottom of the construction we are pretty sure that it is a cocking-pit. The definition of the term cocking-pit is though, in my opinion, way to wide. Due to this the term in reality doesn’t say anything else than that it is a construction filled with fire cracked stone and coal. Then there are few types the round ones, normally dated to early Iron Age in Norrbotten and the square ones that are dated to the late iron Age/Viking Age in Norrbotten. A few other types are known as the funnel shaped ones, the one we are excavating is most like the funnel shaped. Though the coal spotted layer is somewhat of a mystery. I have updated the sketch I published yesterday, as we have dug down yet a bit the shape is getting clearer.
Sketch of the East-Western profile. In the NE quadrant the profile is the south wall and the SW it is the north wall. This is a sketch and it is not made in the right scale but it is made to give a picture of the construction.
A – The coal spotted layer. In this layer we find a lot of pieces of coal and fire cracked stones and a few bigger stones that do not appear to be fire cracked. The earth is rust-coloured. We have also found a few small areas that are “fatty” and some pieces of coal that seems to be part of larger pieces of wood or branches/poles. We still haven’t excavated this layer to the bottom.
B – A layer with fullers’ earth, only a few finds of fire-cracked stones and some coal. Not spots of coal but a few larger pieces; parts of a pole or large branch.
C – A layer of rust colored earth, under this it seems that coal spotted earth appears. We still haven’t excavated this layer to the bottom.
D – A layer of rust colored earth, very few finds, in the profile a few finds of burnt birch bark has been found.
E – At the bottom of (D) we’ve found large pieces of coal from branches or poles.
F & G – Layers of pink sand/earth this is due to either burning (heating) or digging.
H- Ground water level.
Since yesterday we have discovered that the coal spotted layer continues under layer C as do the presence of fire cracked stones. Beneath this we reach the ground water level.
This photo is taken from the north, when we removed this layer of stones we reached the ground water.
Today we made our first bone-find, ca 10 pieces a few a bit larger; ca 1.5 times 0.5 cm. It is part of a diaphysis (ossa longa) belonging to a small mammal or possibly a bird. The bone is The bone fragments has been burnt or effected by fire but not well “cremated”, the colour is yellowish with parts that been burned black/blue. The size is a bit difficult to estimate as bone fragments sometimes reduces in size in a fire, but not always. The cortical thickness is about 1-2 mm which leads me to believe that the bone is more likely to be that of a mammal than that of a bird.
All the bones found.
Photos of the larger bone fragments.
These notes and thoughts are mine and not necessary what will stand in the final report, where more data will be available in the interpretation, C-14 analysis etc. This is not to be seen as a final or the offical hypothesis. The report will made by Norrbottens museum, please check out the official blogg here (in Swedish).Magnus Reuterdahl