The first day on site with the team of students from the University of Southampton. We arrived on site after 10am having picked up lunch stuff on the way from Southampton. Much of the morning was spent on dealing with organisation and logistics, in particular setting up the Kingsclere Village Club marquee on site and organising the toolstore. Risk assessments were passed around and a site talk and list of dos and don’ts read out. A good bunch of students this year, all seeming keen and working hard from the outset.
In the afternoon we set out two trenches (labelled following on from previous years as trenches 10 and 11) one either side of the entrance track to the farm, covering the line of a boundary ditch of possible Iron Age date. We plan to conduct magnetometry over the area prior to locating any other trenches or test pits.
Rachel and Connor carried a fridge down from the farm to our store, courtesy of the landowner Raleigh Place, for storing all of our foodstuffs over the course of the season. Linda and one of the groups set up the finds processing area.
The day ended with a quick visit to the medieval hunting lodge to the north east to look at the remains of the aisled hall, and plan some potential cleaning there. Tomorrow the plan is to complete the deturfing and start cleaning back in trenches 10 and 11, and to start some magnetometry and topographic survey over the landscape.
The good news for foragers is that there seems to be a bumper crop of elderberries, hawthorn berries, sloes and damsons around the site. Hopefully a chance for some of the team to get some home-made preserves on the go!