Wednesday 29 August

Weather some cloud, sunny spells, dry

On site: Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Alan Goodwin (a.m. only), Evelyn Goodwin (a.m. only), Owain James, Philip Dean, Mervyn Evans, Mick James, Tony Driscoll

Starting to backfill

Today, we are backfilling, which is always a depressing prospect, not so much for the hard work but for the putting back at speed of what took so much care to remove slowly. There are also the unexpected spoilheap finds that ought never have got onto the spoilheap in the first place: a large piece of brick (which we haven’t kept) and a large iron loop (which we have).

There was also the issue of the section for feature [40], the slot containing fill (34), which I planned last thing on Saturday. I realised that a section would usefully show the relationship between the feature and (15), the chalk floor that sealed it. It also shows the truncation of (15) at the edge of the platform.

It’s progressing well: by morning tea break we seem to have about half the spoilheap removed and about two-thirds of the trench covered in soil. Of course, the part that hasn’t so far been touched is the area where there are deeper features, which will take up a lot of the spoil.

Completely backfilled

By lunchtime, we had completed the backfilling. The site is not hugely mounded, so I suspect that, after settling and slumping, there will be a slight hollow where our trench once was.

The backfilling was done by 12.25, so we had a short lunch break, and put the turf back afterwards. There was more than enough to cover the trench entirely and by the end, it all looked good. Once the grass has begun to photosynthesise again and more has started to grow, I don’t think that the trench will be visible. We’re leaving the fence in place to keep the cattle out until the turf has had time to reestablish itself, though.

The turf replaced


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

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