Apologies for the lack of a post here over the last few days. All have been grafting hard on site, and things have moved on at a pace, but there hasn’t really been much time to report.
At the start of the week we had Cat, Sarah and Ellie, postgraduates from the University of Southampton, join us on site for some well-earned reprieve from studying. Cat came along to get the building survey in order, with Ellie and Sarah hoping to dust off their digging experience and put in some trowelling hours.
We were also jouined by week one of the Certificate students, all studying at the University of Southampton on the evening course run for Archaeology.
Things have progressed in trenches 11 and 12, with the ditch in trench 11 revealing few finds but nice stratigraphy. The large possible ditch feature in trench 12 has yielded a fair amount of pottery and bone, but also shows evidence of burrowing by rabbits along its eastern edge.
The ceramics from the ditch appear to be late Iron Age and early Roman, ftting in with much of the dating of the Romano-British settlement across the valley. Animal bone from the feature has featured horse, cow and sheep. The top context of fill is slowly coming down on to a chalkier layer, complicated slightly be the broken nature of the cut chalk on the eastern side of the feature. The quantity of finds from the trench, while not immense, has provided more work for Linda and the finds processing team, with Mariam Zoe and Will helping out on Thursday and Robin, Carol and other certificate students working on finds at other times during the week.
In the meantime, trench 11 has produced some good solid stratigraphy for the fill of the ditch. Very few finds other than burnt and worked flint have been retrieved, but Simon and the team have been working like the clappers emptying the fill, and recording the different contexts in turn.
A number of the Certificate students have been helping with the recording, and the others will be busy on the medieval trench tomorrow. Patrick assisted in the recording the the slump deposits in the ditch of trench 11, planning the contexts and the gradient of the ditch, and taking levels.
Across at the medieval site the team have been trowelling back the entrance to the site and excavating a buttress on the aisled hall. Some of the students have also been conducting a resistivity survey to the south of the hunting lodge looking for structures associated with the site.
By the end of today the entrace to the site was cleaned back, and Raleigh the landowner visited to see how the work was coming on.
The whoel group also had a lunch of rabbit and trout from Tidgrove, all cooked over a fire pit – a change from the usual cheese and tomato/cucumber/onion sandwiches!