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Greenlaws Firestone Level Dig - The Little Limestone and County Council Archaeologist Visit, (16/10/11).

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The hole just keeps on getting deeper and deeper. The Little Limestone has now been reached and about 1.8m of it has been exposed on the foot wall. There is probably around 0.3-0.5m more of it to come, but there still is no sign of it on the hanging wall. The hanging wall is in a bad state, with the strata all folded up and highly crumbly. This has made progress slow and a large amount of timbering has had to be installed to cope with it and to fill in chambers formed by falls.

This weekend there was a visit from the Durham County Council Archaeologist, accompanied by her father. Both are keen mine explorers and for once it was great to have an official that truly understood what was going on and the aims of the dig. No responses of horror and thoughts of 'everyone is going kill themselves'. It was important to have them see the dig so far and talk about strategies for documentation of the mine and artefacts once it has been opened.

Towards the end of my visit, Pete ended up striking a section of vein material, rough sugary spar. The significance of this was that it was a pillar that had been left in between the foot and hanging walls, most likely to form the roof of a level. This could mean that the long awaited Little Limestone Level could soon be on the cards, but as with all such things it could also be something else. The next few weeks should tell.