After a well-deserved weekend in which we either explored what Belgium had to offer or the poolside of the hotel, the group was ready to get back to work. Although the weather was drab and cold, we have made some great progress, and everyone was excited to be back on site. However, people were also very eager to get off site at the end of the day, as today was Game of Thrones day.
Instead of trying to describe what both sites look like, Peter Ginn has made a video that shows you around the different sites at Hougoumont, as well as the site of Mont Saint Jean. This provides a more concrete image of where we are digging, and what is being found.
We were visited by Dutch children’s author Rob Ruggenberg, who writes historical youth novels. He is currently in between books and is doing research for a new one. He was guided around the grounds by Charlie, and received explanations about the excavations from the Dutch veterans and students that are on site.
All the while, the work continued all over site. In Phil’s trench, excavations continued on the doorway as well as on the possible road running past the stables. At this point, it is believed that the road is from after the destruction of Hougoumont.
Another trench was dug in the courtyard, in between Emily’s and Sats’ trench. Both the trenches are part of a larger one, and the new trench is the centre portion of this large one. Towards the end of the day, a part of a wall was discovered, which also aligns with the walls that have been found in Emily’s trench.
The work in the Killing zone slowed down a bit today, mainly due to the rain, but there were still some finds, such as musket balls and grapeshot.
In the office, progress is also being made. L – P : Archaeology is working on creating a 3-D walk around of the area in and around Hougoumont. In order to create this 3-D map, the team is using a 360° camera and cycling around. This is in turn mounted to a hard hat, which results in the following: a Flo-Pro.
Another project that L – P are working on is the Photo project. Old photographs that have been taken of Hougoumont are geotagged and are placed on a digital map. This will hopefully create a full picture of what the place used to look like and what the damage was. So, if you find any old photographs of Hougoumont, or its surrounding areas, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the debriefing, the entire group moved over to Mont Saint Jean, to see what has been discovered there.
James talked about the finds in the excavations.
“We were looking at some geophysical anomalies that turned up, to try and find out what they are, so that is what this big trench behind me is. Sadly, that is 1980’s and 1990’s rubble from when they built the road. Other than that, that is literally it.”
When we returned to the hotel, a large group came together to watch Game of Thrones. Together, we enjoyed the first episode of the final season and went through a rage of emotions. We won’t spoil, but Winter has finally come.