Seventh Day in Church Field – Easter Sunday 1st May 2011
On-Site: Philip Dean, Tony Driscoll, Mervyn Evans, Ernie Ford, Greg Ford, Pauline Gimson, Ruth Halliwell, Nigel Harper-Scott, Lorna Holding, Stephen Mason, Jim Skipper. Morning: Wendy Gross
Weather: Sunny and hot, with a clear sky and strong wind.
The day started with a quick briefing which concluded with my accidental discovery of a small find within context (3);and where hot on its heels. Today is our last full day of excavation, and although we will not complete several contexts before tomorrow, we can at least work on tidying up several loose ends. Again, the trench has done its trick of being more easier to read after an overnight drying, than when it is wetted.
Context (3) is in the way… The beginnings of sectioning this supposed rubbish dump has shown that it is only at surface level and not deep in this area, and I have tasked three people with cleaning it to the top of (7) so levels can be taken and then this false plateau reduced down to the current level of (7) that has not yet been bottomed out.
The remnants of context (6) still need to be removed from around the sondage and opposite this is a small remnant of (5) that still needs to be cleaned away to reveal the extent of (3) as it slopes down under (5) to meet (2). The sondage is about 0.6m deep and possibly still a long way from the natural and we haven’t yet hit the ditch that we hope curves into our trench as proposed from the geophysics results.
After lunch it was decided to put up the gazebo to offer protection from the sun, it was noticed that in areas sheltered from the cold wind that the sun is burning particularly ferociously. Unfortunately, this decision proved fatal to the gazebo, which after an hour and after a brief period of harsh, unrelenting battering from the wind has collapsed due to metal fatigue on two of the supports.
The sondage is now about 0.7m deep but is still producing pot, and by the end of the day it produced a nice piece of coarse ceramic ware, with a grooved patterning. As there are no pottery specialists on site this weekend, we have adopted it as Bronze Age grooved ware… We are under no illusion that this is the case and await informed advise on its actual age, but it seems to improve morale a little over the disappointment that we haven’t managed to progress deeper than these two modern debris fills; (2) and (3).
Context (3) is my biggest concern, it is not playing game and trowelling has revealed that it dips sharply into a pit or large hollow at the western extremity of the trench and into the trench wall. This suggests that the sectioned area of (3) assumed to be across its centre was just a large area of overspill, which has cascaded northerly toward contexts (2) and (6). Will we complete this by tomorrow? Tony has started a new plan of the trench, but levels have not yet been taken on the “plateau” of context (7) under (3), in part, due to this discovery.
Context (6) has been cleared, however this has complicated matters more; east of the sondage (6) has come down on to (9) discovered in the sondage. Immediately south of the sondage, context (6) has come down on to a new context that looks more like (7) than (9). This needs to be reviewed tomorrow morning. No new small finds, and all other finds follow previous discoveries, however, it is being noted that we are finding a lot of sherds that may belong to the same three possibly four ceramic objects.