The third week begins: Wednesday 25 July 2012

On site: Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Caoimhín Ó Coileáin, Arlene Walker, Ashley Tierney, Bernie Matthews, Christl Squires, Connie Andrews, Hazel Alford, Ivor Davies, James Fish, Jan Turner, Janice Willis, Sean Willis, Jean Andrews, Jim Skipper, Kit Carstairs, Laura Slack, Liz Hart, Mick James, Muriel James, Nigel Harper-Scott, Norman Norrington, Philip Dean, Tony Driscoll, Chris Gait, Carl Phillips, Rebecca Harrison

Weather: sunny, hot, dry, almost no breeze; occasional light clouds by the afternoon, but still very hot indeed.

It is very hot on site (it is 24° already) and, without shade, I am concerned that people will suffer from heat stroke. I think that it may be worth having more frequent breaks during the day to give people more chance to drink and cool down as best they can. I agreed with Caoimhín that, while the sun is strong, we should have ten minute breaks every hour.

Work is progressing well on defining the ditch of the outer enclosure.  Most of the topsoil covering the western part has gone and there is not much left on the eastern part. Once it has been cleaned and defined, we will be able to get it photographed and planned properly. The deeply embedded piece of iron is still deeply embedded: this is a strong hint of the (relatively) recent date of its fill. I remain puzzled by it.

Work on the sondage is progressing reasonably well, as deposit (21) has less clay in its matrix than the topsoil. At the eastern end, most of it has been removed and appears to be coming down on to weathered bedrock. It may be worth starting a metre wide section against the northern edge of excavation to get a rapid view through the deposits sealing it as well as its uppermost fills.

As predicted, the heat is making progress very slow. There is at least the occasional cloud this afternoon, but the temperature is in the high 20s (according to my Blackberry, it’s 32°, but that is always a degree or two higher than the actual temperature). People are working remarkably well: it’s important that they drink plenty of water.

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

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