Eighth (and Last) Day in Church Field – Easter Monday 2nd May 2011
On-Site: Philip Dean, Tony Driscoll, Mervyn Evans, Ernie Ford, Greg Ford, Ruth Halliwell, Nigel Harper-Scott, Chris Hobbs, Stephen Mason.
Weather: Sunny and hot, with a clear sky and strong wind.
Today is our last day in Church Field, for the foreseeable future. I am keen to get people working today as we only have the morning to clean up contexts and finish plans and records, before backfilling the trench. The hose has not been set-up to wet the site and aid trowelling, because the contexts are easier to read dry; and thereby ensure remaining parts of contexts (5) and (3) are fully removed.
The “plateau” of context (7), that was hidden below (3), will be removed to the same height of the rest of (7) surrounding it. Unfortunately, there is not have enough time or people to completely remove all of (7) to the next context before starting to back fill after lunch.
Context (3) is also to be removed in its entirety, so that recording can be completed and new contexts identified, and Mervyn will remove the rest of the sectioned part of (2), hopefully (2) will be left in a state that can be resolved in a future excavation.
Nigel and Philip are tasked with drawing the sondage’s stratigraphy; it will not be progressed further on this dig due to time and safety. It is almost a metre deep and going deeper would require the sides to be shored and hard hats etc worn by the excavators; which we do not have the capacity to provide. The sondage looks interesting and we believe we may have located the ditch. Although the fill looks very much the same, in the stratigraphy it can be seen in the lower part of the sondage to be stonier and sandier in the northern part of the sondage and less stony and more clay-like in the southern end. It is difficult to read the sondage stratigraphy as only two of its sides receive sunlight, and then only later in the day.
By lunchtime context (3) is gone as far as we can determine, everything has returned to its universal mid-grey colour. Areas have been lightly cleaned back to remove remaining loose soil and pebbles/flints for photographs to be taken of the site at the conclusion of the excavation. The final plans, levels and checks on context sheets of the site were completed during the lunch break.
Geo-textile was laid across the site and back filling began shortly after lunch (2pm), the final pieces of turf were repatriated at 4:10pm.
There have been two new small finds today; a fragment of an iron horseshoe from context (3) and an iron rim(?)from context (2). Unfortunately, some time yesterday we ran out of object sheets to record small finds, consequently small finds to have only been registered on the level and small finds registers, plus context sheets.
At this time we have not located the possible Roman feature that was the primary mandate for this excavation. On-the-surface, it seems what has been discovered are two fairly recent deposits of industrial to modern period waste situated above our intended target. Either these originated from the barn excavated in 2007 or possibly past work involving the straightening of Norton Road (if the tarmac finds are anything to go by).
Our only feature (8); a consolidated line of flint and pebble, could be interpreted as a field drain; possibly linked to the barn. Its SW/NE orientation directs it toward the area in which the barn was located. Further excavation would better reveal the true intent of this feature and the site has been left in a state with which future work can continue if the decision is made.