Third day in Church Field – Sunday 24th April

On-site: Tony Driscoll, Mervyn Evans, Ernie Ford, Greg Ford, Pauline Gimson, Alan Goodwin, Keeley Hale, Ruth Halliwell, Nigel Harper-Scott, Lorna Holding, Jim Skipper.  Afternoon: Christl Squires, Mary Wood.

Weather: Clear sky with hazy sunshine and a cool breeze.

Today is our first full day of digging. Because of numbers the group is divided into two rows of four; each working separate halves of the trench, trowelling south to north. In hindsight, I should have had one row of eight trowelling west to east, but there you go: lesson learned for next time.

Trowelling was hampered by the toughness of the soil; the surface having been baked for two days in the sun. Once the first pass of the morning was completed the trench was reviewed. The dry soil showed no colour changes at all within the trench and only the rubble-like inclusions of contexts (2) and (3) provided evidence of any context changes.  

Trowelling commenced for a second pass over the areas still containing context (1) and a metal object was uncovered by Lorna at the western extremity of the trench just outside context (3). The blade-like shape of the object first suggested an association to a bone handle found during turf removal near to that location. This was recorded as, however, upon removing it we found that it was rounded underneath and therefore not a blade. At lunchtime, the site was sprayed with water using a hose and left to soak into the soil.

The spraying did not produce the desired effect of revealing a smorgasbord of differently coloured soil contexts to identify, instead the site remained a solitary colour; just darker in tone. Unperturbed, trowelling recommenced over the areas still deemed to be deposits of (1) and in the northern half of the trench two new contexts (4) and (5) were exposed. Context (4) consists of a light surface scatter of fine, flint gritted inclusions extending from (2) to the eastern edge of the trench. Although some top soil still remains to be trowelled away, it is preliminarily thought that (4) may extend underneath (2), which looks very much to be a deposit of rubble. Immediately south of (4) stretching east to west across the trench; dividing (2) and (3) is an ill-defined, yellowish clay surface which was numbered context (5).

By the end of the day’s digging a sixth, possible, context may be extending from the northern edge of the trench. It will be re-evaluated in the morning as there is a little contention as to whether it is a new context or still context (1). The site was closed for the end of the day and the team were packed and left site at 4:00pm.

Other than <SF3> the finds were similar to those of the past two days, however, it is being noted that a number of ceramic pieces collected over the past three days look as though they originate from the same or similarly manufactured vessels. Also, a larger quantity of glass has been excavated today; specifically shards from bottles are being found; some with moulded text or numbers; which might be used to trace both manufacturer and possible use.


Posted on 24 April 2011, in Fieldwork, Norton Church Field Dig 2011. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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