Saturday 24 August 2013: Open Day on site (and it’s raining)

On site: Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Keeley Hale, Bernie Matthews, Emily Abrehart, Emma Winter, Frances Bourne, Howard Webber (putting up the marquee for the Open Day), Ivor Davies, Jacky Winter, Jan Turner, Jean Andrews, Lyall Watson, Martin Jupp, Nigel Harper-Scott, Phil Dean, Rick Kelly, Tony Driscoll, Tony Ireland

Weather: grey, near constant light rain

It’s a stressful day: preparation for the Open Day in the rain and on the penultimate day on site do not make a good mix. Add to that the fact that I forgot to bring the camera to site this morning and had to go home to collect it means that I am not feeling especially happy.

While I was off site, there have been some decent finds: a utilised flake (from the bottom of the inner ditch), a very nice arrowhead and a rimsherd of collard urn with impressed cord decoration (both these from (29)). The main fill of the inner ditch has gone completely; there appears to be an earlier silt along the southern edge, (402), that will need to be removed and the northern edge needs some work before we can consider the feature complete as there seems to be a similar (perhaps even the same) deposit here..

The weather really is quite dismal, but it is a Bank Holiday weekend, after all! To try to be positive about it, the visibility of deposits on site is excellent, which has allowed Chris and Rick to identify a posthole cut into the fills of the outer ditch, probably during the Roman period. Unfortunately, this has also removed the relationship between the henge ditch [289] and the fill of the earlier ditch on the same line, (307). As a result, they are having to remove the rest of (307) to reveal the relationship on the opposite side of the trench.

Frankie is performing the invaluable task of checking context records. This will enable us to rectify any anomalies and omissions before we close down tomorrow. It really is our last chance as there are no plans to return to the site.

I was unable to spend any time on the blog after midday owing to the time spent preparing for the open day. It’s always disruptive but it’s an important—even essential—of what Community Archaeology is all about. It helps get across the message that we have spectacular and important archaeological remains, even if they are invisible because they are under the plough.

The rain continued throughout the day, even getting heavy after about 3 o’clock. We were all very damp by the time we left, around 4.30.

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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 24 August 2013, in Fieldwork. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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