Tomorrow, we begin in earnest
Excavation begins on site tomorrow. We have opened up a square 40 m by 40 m with a small spur to the east; this has exposed almost a third of the henge, highlighting how small the second phase monument would have been, while the spur has crossed part of the ditch of the small ring-ditch east of the henge. It has become more apparent that the henge occupies a slight terrace on the hillside: this helps to explain its slightly unusual position, as henges usually occupy flat ground, often on valley floors.
To understand the background to what we hope to achieve over the next two summers, read the Project Design and Pauline Gimson’s report on the resistivity survey carried out earlier this year. Having confirmed the character of the site in 2011, we now need to learn more about its date, history and use. This year, I also hope that we will actually identify the elusive outer ditch (its entire circuit appears to be maked by a build-up of colluvium, soil that has crept down the slope) and retrieve material thay will help us to date its filling. In particular, we need to collect materials suitable for scientific dating (organic material for radiocarbon and, perhaps, fired clay for thermoluminescence).
As ever, I will be blogging about the site every day, so you can keep up with discoveries. This is especially important for those of you who will be working only occasionally on site: you can find out what has been happening to “your” part of the dig.