A cracking day on site today, with plenty of different activities for all concerned. The morning started overcast and cool – positively autumnal, but the sun was out by lunchtime. Groups of students were joined with volunteers Mike, Les and Rowena. We had two teams in the morning deturfing on trenches 10 and 11, with a further group taken by Rachel for elementary magnetometer survey. A further team set out to topo the landscape of Tidgrove Warren Farm.
In the morning we sorted out the marquee and office, with students rotas, context sheets and other paperwork, and checked over the cameras and other equipment. The students continued and completed the deturfing of the trenches, and one group of students started a tutorial and practical in geophysical survey, using the fluxgate gradiometer.
Tea break was uneventful, apart from a lack of biscuits, and a horrendous incident involving one of the students and an entire bag of sugar. The remainder of the morning passed uneventfully.
For the afternoon worked picked up pace, with Raleigh Place, the landowner at Tidgrove, arriving with a small excavator.
While the students detrufed the remainder of trench 10, Raleigh, supervised by Dominic and Raleigh’s son Cameron stripped back the ploughsoil from trench 11. Two of the undergraduates also started a microtopographic survey in the same field to map the remains of Iron Age and Roman field systems and terraces in the area. One group of students conducted magnetometry survey of a 60m by 90m area to the north of trench 10 in order to locate a possible sub-rectangular platform, prior to locating a third trench over its extent.
The cleaning back of trench 11 resulted in locating the Iron Age/Roman boundary ditch, and the remains of terrace deposits upslope from the ditch feature.
So with a third of the Romano-British site field surveyed with Smartnet, the magnetometry well under way and two trenches opened and features appearing, all is set for a third day of work tomorrow. The topographic aurvey and magnetometry results will be downloaded tomorrow morning early on before departing for site. I will hopefully put some images
of the results up on here tomorrow.