I haven’t been keeping up with the blog over the last few days as there has not been a lot to report, although today we have been rained off site so there is time to update. Most of the work on Thursday, Friday and Saturday focused on continuing the geophysical survey and topographic survey over the landscape, with teams cleaning back at trenches 11 and 12, and recording the few features in trench 10. The end of deturfing on Thursday provided the opportunity for one of our more creative students to produce a few works of art.
With later adaptation of the original making the creation look like a spiv, or possibly Terry Thomas.
Fortunately the creative urges of the student were only temporary, and a solid day of cleaning back soon banished any other thoughts of artistic creativity.
By the end of Friday both trenches 11 and 12 revealed several features. In trench 11 the chalk and ditch were trowelled back and photographed. Trowelling in the area that was overlain by the terrace deposits in the northern part of the trench revealed a sherd of early Roman pottery resting on the chalk below the soil of the terrace, so it seems more probable that we are dealing with early Roman fields and terraces in the vicinity of the Romano-British settlement at the site.
The cleaning back on trench 12 has revealed a ditch feature and associated features. Some early Roman pottery was recovered from the cleaning layer, and signs of burning in the top of the ditch fill is evident.
The topographic survey of one of the fields with Smartnet is almost complete. We have been surveying at approximately 1m by 2m intervals across the area, collecting some 26,000 points in a few days. The rough contours from the survey show the presence of the terraces and variations caused by the ditches.
The geophysical survey on the eastern valley side indicates a number of ditch features, and this is where we have located trench 12.
The geophysical survey to the north has also pulled out a number of features, including ditches associated with the settlement here, and the ditches which mark the edge of the ridge, also evidence for the south-facing terraces along the ridge.
So with the second week of the fieldwork starting, the teams are ready to carry out more topography and geophysics, and once the pre-excavation plans of the trenches are completed we will start excavating the ditches and associated features. Just a pity that rain has stopped work in the field today. More to come tomorrow, including photos of the trenches and an update on the geophysical survey.