Wednesday 18 July 2012: rained off

Washing finds

Washing finds while it rains on site

On site: Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Caoimhín Ó Coileáin, Arlene Walker, Bernie Matthews, Christine Collis, Christl Squires, Jan Turner, Jean Andrews, Jeanette Watson, Jim Skipper, Jordan Charalampous, Liz Hart, Mandy McBride, Mick James, Muriel James, Navid Tomlinson, Oliver Sharman, Rachael Mills, Ray Elmes, Rebecca Harrison, Sid Rowe, Steve Warner, Tom Foster, Tz-Ling Lai, William Hurry, Willim Siddeley, Izzy Gray, Ivor Davies, David Hodges

Weather: overcast, windy, turning to persistent rain by 10.15

We arrived and got started on continuing to remove what is left of the topsoil in light rain. Mick and Muriel started cleaning over the ditch in the spur running east from the main trench; this is the ring ditch to the east of the henge. Although the rain was not excessively heavy, the real problem lay in dealing with finds. The Total Station does not cope well with rain, which means that it can’t be used in this sort of weather, presenting us with a conundrum: keep digging and generate more finds that we can only record with difficulty or stop altogether. By 11 o’clock, it was still raining constantly and I decided to call it a day. To record the positions of those finds that had been made, four people held a tarpaulin over the Total Station while the readings were taken.

Chris has very generously made space available for finds processing in the dry, which means that a small team is able to continue working, so that the day is not completely wasted. Of course, as soon as we had settled to finds work, the rain stopped. This seems to be a general rule with deciding to stop: send people home and the rain stops! However, by mid afternoon, the rain had returned and the decision not to continue on site has been confirmed as the right one to take. The forecast for tomorrow looks reasonable, but given how changeable both the forecasts and the weather have been, I’m inclined towards scepticism.

Thanks to Steve Warner, Bernie Matthews, Ollie Sharman, Navid Tomlinson, David Hodges, Roy Elmes and Caoimhín for staying behind to lift the finds and take readings on the total station.

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

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