Thursday 22 July 2013: Keeley is in charge again

Another post written by Keeley.

On site: Jan Turner, Rick Kelly, Tony Driscoll, Sid Rowe, Paul Eland, Phil Dean, Kit Carstairs, Emily Abrehart, Manuela Jimenez, Frankie Saxton, Paul Browne, David Scott, Ursula Scott, Ivor Davies, William Siddeley, Chris Hobbs, Keeley Hale

Weather: Mostly Rainy!! But we carried on regardless

It was very wet this morning and it looked like the rain was going to stay, a group decision was to carry on digging, we have tight time constraints and still a lot of questions to answer. But mostly be honest people were really keen of which I am really grateful as I could not resist the possibility of getting the outer ditch bottomed out and the fill of the oval cut in the centre of the henge removed.

Chris and William needed little encouragement to get into the outer ditch and both worked really hard to remove the remaining contexts to expose the full profile of the ditch. It is a fantastic feat of human engineering by our ancient ancestors and now it is cleaned it looks brand new. We have taken lots of photos just before the second deluge of the day began just before lunch.

Sid and Paul are continuing to remove the Neolithic top soil and are still uncovering flint and ceramic artefacts. They have removed a very shallow context (382) and are coming down to another layer.

Phil and Kit are continuing work on the inner ditch and it looks like they are getting close to the bottom if the profile is the same as the section excavated last year. This area is still very full of finds and they are progressing well.

Emily is working hard to determine the relationship between the interior of the inner ditch and the chalk bank next to the inner ditch and it is still proving to be very complicated. Manuela is excavating (29) and finding lots of flint and some lovely pieces of ceramic. Manuela has also discovered some lovely decorated pieces of ceramic from the spoil heap

Paul’s pit (389) is has a very similar and stubborn fill to the deposits in Chris’ pit lower down the slope. David has been given the task to remove this very compacted chalk deposit in the pit started by Emma last week.

In the morning Ivor, Ursula and David removed the remaining compacted chalk in the structure slots and it is a clear horseshoe shape, this will be planned and photographed tomorrow but it is very interesting. In the afternoon, Ivor cleaned up the small area of burning next the inner bank which we will investigate tomorrow, and Ursula began looking at another hollow in the entrance area.

Jan logged all the muddy finds today with Rick helping in the morning, in the afternoon Rick looked at a small hollow in the “L” shaped enclosure which was very shallow with very few finds. He then helped Paul draw the section of his small pit.

Frankie has been under the tent today excavating the oval feature in the centre of the henge. It is full of charcoal and is thick homogenous deposit coming down to a lighter layer with a large amount of ash and small pieces of charcoal.

Despite the horrible weather people were keen to carry on and after an extended lunch to shelter from the rain work continued well throughout the afternoon in good spirits.

The surprise arrival of Mike Parker Pearson and Keith this afternoon added to great atmosphere on site. Mike was impressed with the henge, especially our outer ditch, even though we don’t have the “stones” he is more familiar with. He confirmed our pot is a very small collared urn. After a fairly lengthy walk around the site and a few team photos in the rain he was happy to chat with members of the group and we are looking forward to seeing him again in October.


About Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews

I'm the Museum Curator and Heritage Access Officer for North Hertfordshire Museum. I was born and brought up in Letchworth Garden City, so I have a life-long connection with the area.

Posted on 23 August 2013, in Fieldwork. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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