Wednesday 22 August

Weather cloudy and windy, ground conditions damp; rain started at 12.40 and we abandoned work for the day at 1.15 p.m.

On site: Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Tony Driscoll, Mervyn Evans, Mick James, Owain James, Peter Owen (late a.m.)

Excavating before the rain

Excavating before the rain

The weather is not pleasant today: it’s very autumnal and cold. The wind has got up and there is the threat of rain showers, which we ought to be able to cope with. The bullocks were plainly unhappy to see us back on site; they came thundering towards us as we entered the field and bellowed at us, presumably hoping to intimidate us.

Tony is continuing the excavation of (21), Mervyn and Owain are planning pit fill (25), Mick is continuing the excavation of the chalk (22), which I assume to be the capping of a large pit. I did a bit of practical work, too: I planned pit [23]. I have to keep my hand in somehow…

Tony has found a struck flint at the interface between (21) and (17). He’s had to treat it as a small find, as lithics have not been common on this site. It is difficult to see whether (21) is actually different from the flintier deposit to its north, or whether they are simply the same thing: there was more chalk to the south of the deposit and it has gradually changed character as Tony progressed northwards.

Mervyn’s pit fill (25) has produced a sherd of what appears to be Iron Age pottery (although it’s difficult to be certain while it’s still dirty). A second sherd looks distinctly Middle Iron Age, while a third sherd also appears to be prehistoric, so I’m fairly confident of ascribing an Iron Age date to the pit.

Bob Lancaster called in to the site around 11.30 to discuss arrangements for tomorrow evening’s Private View. He’s sorting out refreshments (wine and soft drinks, crisps and snacks) and is bringing a gazebo, a couple of tables and plastic cups. He’ll be arriving around 6 p.m. to set up. He suggested having someone by the gate from the churchyard to direct people towards the compound, as it’s not clearly visible from there. He suggests having the gazebo outside the compound to the north to avoid upsetting the residents at 127 Norton Road, who have been unhappy about the excavation from the outset (they don’t like the noise and the people, and they want their seclusion back).

Rain started to fall just after lunch began and hadn’t stopped by 1.15, by which time the site was soaked and there were puddles everywhere, so I abandoned work for the day.


About Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews

I'm the Archaeology Officer for North Hertfordshire District Council Museum Service. I was born and brought up in Letchworth Garden City, so I have a life-long connection with the area.

Posted on 22 August 2007, in Fieldwork, Norton Church Field Dig 2007. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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