Open Day on site

Saturday 27 August 2011

On site: Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Bianca San Martin, Jon Goodwyn, Martin Jupp, Tony Driscoll, Philip Dean, Caoimhín Ó Coileáin, Mark Perks, David Sims, Pauline Gimson, Zoe Ó Coileáin, Greg Ford, Nigel Harper-Scott, Nick Smith, Siân O’Neill, Keeley Hale, Laurie Elvin, Howard Webber

Weather: cloudy, sunny spells, cool breeze

Today is going to be fairly disrupted, as we have the Open Day, a visit by Anglia News and who-knows-what else. Then there is the weather: there is a 40% chance of rain this afternoon. The site is already very muddy indeed and the walkways around the trenches have become quite churned up. The clayey topsoil is making everything quite slippery and people have been told to take great care when moving around.

Progress with the north facing section of Trench I progressed well yesterday, despite the rain, reaching west beyond the inner ditch. The bank and everything else to the west end of the trench ought to be quite straightforward. Zoe is going to be starting the south-facing section this morning, so we may get most of the section drawing completed today.

Mark is removing the carbon-rich deposit in the base of the post pipe. I hope that he will be able to move on to the posthole fill(s) later: it would be good to get at least one discrete feature fully excavated before the end of the excavation!

We have still not found the limits of the outer ditch, which is a real disappointment. As one of the principal aims of this year’s work was to excavate a section through the outer ditch, not to have even found it is a bit of a setback. To confirm the early date I suspect for the site, we need to ensure that the outer ditch is primary and obtain good dating evidence from it; by the end of this season, we will still not be in a position to do this. The colluvium, (35), has turned out to be my bête noire of the site!

The crew from Anglia News is due at Chris Hobb’s house shortly. I assume that he’ll be bringing them down to site to get some shots here. It’s a shame that Three Counties Radio didn’t come down…

Fill (105) in the inner ditch is producing a lot of finds. I suspect that we are nearing the base and that we are looking a primary deposition of material left over from activities inside the henge. It would be really useful if there were a large structured deposit in the base, which could give us a good date for its construction.

There is still no real sign of edges to (59). However, most of the finds now seem to be coming from the centre of the deposit. Could this be indicating roughly where the centre of the ditch should be? It looks as if it is the right location but I’m not sure what sort of formation process would result in this phenomenon, though. On the next spit, the finds were more evenly distributed, so this does not seem to have been a real phenomenon.


About Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews

I'm the Archaeology Officer for North Hertfordshire District Council Museum Service. I was born and brought up in Letchworth Garden City, so I have a life-long connection with the area.

Posted on 27 August 2011, in Fieldwork, Stapleton's Field Dig 2011. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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