This morning I went on a special staff tour of the Manchester Dock dig site, led by project officer Mark Adams from the field archaeology unit. That's him on the right of the photo - the one with the high visibility jacket and hard hat!
You can get a rough idea of the site layout in this aerial photo. Since that was taken the team have been digging down to reveal a number of key features from around the old dockside, including machinery and the hydraulic system that moved the dock gates.
It's not just the structure of the dock itself that is of interest to the archaeologists, as the material that was used to backfill it is also part of the story of the site. Much of the Manchester Dock was filled with sandstone from the excavation of the Mersey tunnels. A number of sugar moulds have also been found in the fill material. While we were there, archaeologists Sarah Pevely and Helen Jones (in the hole at the front of the photo) uncovered some more.
By the way, in case you were wondering, there was no machinery operating on site today, which is why people were allowed in without safety jackets and hats.