CAMPAIGN TRAIL: UPDATE 3 - 15/8/2000
THE NEWS IN BRIEF
A long hard day sees the opening of both trenches. By the time rain puts an end to the day's work, a range of features and finds have been produced which bode well for the season ahead.
"Despite grey skies and portents of rain threatening. today's activities, we have been able to open up both of our trenches with promising results. The spring has been cleared of vegetation / modern dumps of rubble, and provided us with our first discovery - a neat drystone wall around the water source.
Mark Lodwick's trench on the east side of the enclosure has also produced rapid results - massive stones from the enclosure wall, and further features, on either side of it.
The first copper alloy finds for the season have already been made - a brooch pin from Mark Lodwick's trench, and part of a brooch from the spring area where Evan's working. "
DR MARK REDKNAP
EVAN CHAPMAN - SUPERVISING THE SPRING TRENCH
"This morning we continued the good work of vegetation clearance started by Archie yesterday so we now have a clearer idea of the spring's shape. The waterlogged area seems to be roughly oval with the water entering at its western end.
Around this supposed entry point is a mass of large stones some of which appear to be deliberately placed as a wall to keep the soil from the field out of the spring. Other walls may also await discovery beneath the rubble that fills other parts of the spring. What we don't yet know is how old these features are... Some of the larger mounds of dumped material seem to be fairly modern, as we found out when Roger (the farmer) bulldozed the area for us.
Digging this afternoon was hindered by intermittent rain which made progress slow and sapped morale. However the finding of part of a penannular brooch in the area to the south of the spring certainly raised my spirits!"
MARK LODWICK - SUPERVISING THE ENCLOSURE TRENCH
"A great beginning to the season! After briefing the team on the archaeology of the site and our discoveries to date, it was over to Roger to clear much of the topsoil mechanically leaving us to get down to the heavy work of tidying the trench with mattocks and shovels.
By lunchtime the outer face of the enclosure wall was clearly visible and we have already spotted the bottom of a possible small ditch outside the enclosure wall. Initially we thought it might have been the outside edge of the enclosure ditch, but since it's only about 50cm wide, it's more likely to be the remains of an older field system.
Whilst working in another part of the trench inside the enclosure wall Roger also spotted a localised cluster of stone. Hopefully we'll find out more about this feature tomorrow.
At the end of the day rain set in but, as in Evan's trench, spirits were raised by the discovery of a bronze pin from a penannular brooch - the discovery of Early Medieval archaeology made the difficult weather and hard work a little easier to bear for us all."