Fifth day in Church field – Royal Wedding, Friday 29th April 2011
On-site: Philip Dean, Tony Driscoll, Mervyn Evans, Ernie Ford, Greg Ford, Pauline Gimson, Alan Goodwin, Keeley Hale, Ruth Halliwell, Nigel Harper-Scott, Chris Hobbs, Henry Marshall, Sid Rowe
Weather; Cool and overcast with a slight wind, afternoon warm with occasional bursts of sun.
The day started off with cakes provided by Pauline and hanging flags from the compound fence, one would almost think a wedding was going on. Keeley has stepped in to oversee the finds processing whilst Christl has been called away. Alan has volunteered to help.
We find the trench in a myriad of different soil colour; a blessing and a curse in many ways. The different contexts are showing up well, and areas still with a minor covering of topsoil are easily identified, however, it can be seen that in one area that a new context has been found, unidentified and excavated through to another context; possibly (2), beneath. Thankfully this is only a small area; approx 0.3m x 0.1m, no finds were discovered in this area on the Monday when it was being excavated.
Tony and Ruth begin by finishing the trench plan; started Monday evening, whilst I briefed the others on how we would continue the excavation. Chris and Sid are to mark off the north-east corner of the trench with a 1m x 1m sondage to evaluate the depth of the archaeological stratigraphy; recording contexts and finds as they progress. We have only three real days left for excavating and it is looking unlikely that we will reach our possible Roman feature.
Mervyn is to remove the rest of context (4) and Ernie (6), whilst Philip and Henry continue trowelling down (7) to try and expose more of our flint feature; context (8). Pauline is to start sectioning context (3) whilst Nigel takes over from Keeley in sectioning (2). After looking at the damaged contexts mistakenly excavated last Monday, it looked as though context (5) maybe lying over contexts (2) and (3), I asked Nigel and Pauline to delay excavating these contexts and remove (5) first.
This was shown to be the right decision, because as (5) was removed it could be seen that (2) and (3) do start to converge. What is also interesting is that three small oval fills of soil have emerged under (5) these could be natural hollows in context (3) that have a natural soil fill. Nigel has also uncovered a hollowed soil area dividing contexts (2) and (3) but it is also not connected to (5) or any of the other contexts. These have been given new contexts numbers (11), (12), (13) and (14), but because of the size I do not think these will amount to much or produce much in the way of finds.
In our sondage context (9); a thick layer of clay with chalk and gravel inclusions, has been uncovered under (6) and is being planned and levelled before work continues. Whilst trowelling back context (7) has revealed a more flint/pebble included layer south of our feature (8) and this has been numbered context (10).
Before the end of the day, Sid has found our one and only small find of the day; a shaped sandstone bar(?), located in the northern wall of the sondage. Quite what it is; whetstone or rubbing stone, I am not sure, but I am certain something similar was found during one of the NCAG’s previous excavations in this field. Other finds have remained consistent to the previous weekend’s inventory. Although, finds processing of items found in the unstratified layers during turf removal has found a fragment of sea shell with a number of small holes drilled through it.