End of Week 1: Sunday 15 July 2012

On site: Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Caoimhín Ó Coileáin, Ashley Tierney, Chris Hobbs, Christl Squires, Emily Abrehart, Frances Bourne, Jack Ryan, Jordan Charalampous, Keeley Hale, Liz Hart, Martin Coard, Nadia Musaid, Navid Tomlinson, Nigel Harper-Scott, Oliver Sharman, Rebecca Harrison, Renata Naufal, James Naufal, Sami Yusuf, Steven Mason, Izzy Gray, Gill Calver, Martin Jupp, Maya Isbister, Hannah Isbister, Jenny Isbister

Weather: dry, sunny, broken cloud, gusty breeze

No blog post for Saturday, as the weather was too wet to permit any work on site and I was at a conference in Welwyn Garden City. The weather today has returned to sunny spells, even if it’s not especially warm, which makes it good for excavating. Work is continuing on the sondage at the north-eastern corner and topsoil clearance along the western edge. The mystery of the recent cut has been solved: it was an attempt during topsoil stripping ten days ago to locate the geotextile in last year’s trenches, which managed to miss both trenches. That explains why the “fill” was so poorly consolidated!

Having made excellent progress in the first two days, things have now slowed down and we are at the point I’d expected to reach today. Of course, losing a day to bad weather is the principal culprit, but I would like to get into trowelling back as soon as possible. We also need to get on to excavating the henge. The priorities here are the posthole that we started to excavate last year, finishing the excavation of the inner ditch and getting a section through the monument (interior fills and bank). It would be good to get started on these on Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.

Grooved Ware rim

Part of the rim of a Grooved Ware vessel embedded in the henge: might it be part of a complete vessel?

I have managed to photograph the Grooved Ware rim that is embedded in the fills at the centre of the henge. This is something else we will need to deal with early next week. I have also seen Phil Thomas’s sherd and will need to photograph that, too.

I find that I need to make an apology to those who have been on fruitless searches for last year’s records. It turned out that they weren’t in the green box with the Accident Book and the Munsell™ Color Chart. They were on a shelf at the Museums Resource Centre in Hitchin. The reason I had overlooked them in getting things ready is that the file reads “Planning Advice” on the spine. Mea magna culpa!

The sondage is now just about cleaned of any topsoil and trample left in the bottom and ought to be ready for record photography by the end of the day. I think that the deepest part has gone into the uppermost fill of the outer ditch of the henge. There appears to be almost half a metre of colluvium over the top of it: we would never have been able to remove it all by hand.

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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 15 July 2012, in Fieldwork, Stapleton's Field Dig 2012. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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