Wednesday 21 August 2013: Keeley is in charge

Blog post by Keeley in Keith’s absence.

On site: Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews (only until 10.30), Jan Turner, Christl Squires, Tony Driscoll, William Sidderly, Ashley Tierney, Ivor Davies, Pauline Gimson, Sid Rowe, Emily Abrehart, Phil Dean, Kit Carstairs, Frankie Saxton, Bernie Matthews, Priscilla Simmons, Isobel Simmons, Paul Browne, Steve Foulds, John Baskerville, Jean Andrews, Sylvia Duncan, Rick Kelly

Weather: very warm, reaching 27° C by half three.

Pauline and Sid are excavating the Neolithic topsoil (396) at the south western end of the “L” shaped area. They are finding pieces of daub, lots of flint and some pottery. They are coming down on to a deposit with larger pieces of chalk within the matrix.

Kit, Emily and Phil are continuing on the inner ditch (369) which is full of finds, although they are progressing well and have a good recording system in place. Once again Kit has possibly (Keith to confirm) found a very interesting artefact, a piece of worked bone with a very pointed end which could be a pin or needle.

Bernie and Frankie continued inside the inner bank to try to resolve the stratigraphy; however, it is proving very difficult to determine at present. They were joined by Jan in the afternoon to continue removing (29). A good amount of finds were recovered from this area.

John and Steve are continuing Rhiannon’s pit (372) in the entrance area and it is very similar to the pit located close by, excavated by Chris last week. There have been very few finds within the deposit (376) and (381).

Paul is excavating a small hollow on the northern side of the “L” shape excavation area which has very compacted chalk at the sides and base similar to Chris’ pit and the pit John and Steve are finishing today. Rick was cleaning back the area close to the area of burning at the corner of the “L” shape and confirmed that the bedrock is very irregular in this area with silted up patches which we will continue to investigate over the next couple of days.

In the morning Jean and Sylvia were working on the thick deposit overlying the natural by the outer ditch, although this is very hard work and digging down slope has a vertigo effect. This is a main area to target over the next few days. Jean helped enormously this afternoon tidying up the sections and cleaning back the northern leg of the “L” shaped area in preparation for the open day.

Ashley and Ivor have worked really hard today and have nearly completed excavating the slots (344) for the first structure we found on site. The sides are quite irregular but it is nearly completely excavated.

William has been all alone in the bottom of the outer ditch, and his first task was to clear up all the silt from last week’s deluge. He has nearly reached the bottom and is still recovering artefacts from (363)

Jan and Christl have been very busy today with a huge amount of finds and Tony has been extra busy but totally in control of distributing batch numbers and logging in the finds.

Isobel and Priscilla have been working on the ash pile in the corner of the “L” shape at the centre of the henge. They have been carefully excavating (306) which is proving to be a very deep regular deposit of dark brown loose silty soil. There is a very large amount of carbonised wood with some very large pieces which were recovered for later analysis. It is evident that there is a small oval pit cut into the chalk, which looks like it has been filled in quickly with one deposit. We will continue to excavate this tomorrow.

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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 22 August 2013, in Fieldwork, Stapleton's Field Dig 2013. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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