Sixth Day in Church Field – Saturday 30th 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, Lorna Holding, Henry Marshall, Philip Thomas.
Weather: Sunny and warm, with a clear sky and strong cool breeze.
Again, this morning, we find that the contexts are showing up better in the dry than when wetted; a complete reversal to my previous experience.
Tony starts the day planning the new contexts that have been revealed from under contexts (4) and (5). Ernie is continuing to clean back (6) and the two Philips are excavating the sondage. Pauline and Mervyn are to section across the centre of context (3) and Nigel will continue sectioning context (2). Henry, Lorna and Ruth will clean away context (7) surrounding (3). The area south of context (8) is looking extremely gravelly compared to the remaining (7) and I have numbered this context (10). It will be interesting to see if the remaining (7) north of (8) produces the same surface as (10) or a new context that might suggest the line of pebbles borders something.
Home-baked biscuits were provided by Nigel at tea break. This year we are really being spoiled!
Context (2) is proving to be perplexing. It is definitely a dump, however, a dump for what is difficult to establish as there is just an amorphous array of detritus coming from it; livestock remains, nails, barbed wire, CBM, pottery (of various styles), glass, tarmac, industrial waste. One thought is that this was a dumping ground for refuse produced from the change in the road layout.
After lunch a quick review of the sectioning of context (3) seems to suggest that it is not as deep as first thought and lies as a shallow layer across what seems to be more of (7). Whilst I decide what to do with (3), I’ve asked Mervyn, Nigel and Pauline to quickly excavate out contexts (11), (12), (13) and (14). As thought, these are relatively shallow deposits of a silty loam soil, in the case of (12) this has ended in what seems to be the remains of a tree root that has rotted completely away, and my thoughts are that this may be the case for some if not all the other three shallow contexts found under (5). A button was recovered from the bottom of context (11).
A new context (15) has been located in the sondage, and seems to be a shallow layer of soily clay; that doesn’t quite stretch the length of the sondage (north to south), compared to the compact clay of (9). Context (9) continues down a good 0.1m below (15) and so after planning, levelling and excavating away (15) context (9) is seen to continue underneath (15) effectively sandwiching it. My initial thought is that (15) is just a shallow less compacted area of (9). Nevertheless, almost 0.6m down the sondage is still producing pottery. We are now past the halfway mark before I close the sondage due to its depth for health and safety reasons.
South of the shallow area of context (3) on its plinth of (7) a new clayish layer (16) is emerging, whilst adjacent to this layer and almost running parallel with (8); and possibly just an extension of this context, is another emerging area of consolidated flint and pebbles (17).
No small finds today. But, again, the usual finds are being made as remains consistent with the previous days digging.