CAMPAIGN TRAIL: UPDATE 4 - 16/8/2000
THE NEWS IN BRIEF
More rain, but a steady rate of discovery keeps morale up on site. Both Evan's trench over the spring and Mark's trench over the enclosure wall are neatly cleared back, ready for work on the features.
"The discovery of a stone wall around the source of the spring sheds more light on the field name - Cae'r Ffynnon Wen (field of the clear spring) - which local historian Alison Brigstocke has traced back to the 17th century. A fragment of 17th-century onion bottle has also been found in the rubble infill of the spring, but this may not date the wall itself.
In Mark's enclosure trench, a number of features have been found, however, with the discovery of several sherds of Roman pottery in this area, it is possible that some of these features pre-date the enclosure itself. "
DR MARK REDKNAP
EVAN CHAPMAN - SUPERVISING THE SPRING TRENCH
"Over the last two days I've come to the conclusion that most of my workforce are solar powered. In wet and rainy conditions it has been a real struggle to get any real level of work out of them but a soon as the sun has come out each afternoon they have worked really hard with little or no prompting from me.
Despite the slow progress we have managed to remove the rest of the plough soil from the trench. This has revealed two interesting lines of stones at one edge. Unfortunately both appear to run beyond the excavation area, suggesting a need to expand the trench. Oh goody!
Within the depression around the spring we have continued to clear the remains of recent vegetation and sticky black soil. This has revealed an extensive area of rough cobbling which was probably laid to keep the water clean and may also have helped water retention. "
MARK LODWICK - SUPERVISING THE ENCLOSURE TRENCH
"As with Evan's trench weather conditions have made the work more difficult and progress has been slow. Despite the rain we have managed to reveal some interesting archaeology. Outside the enclosure wall we have found the outside edge of the enclosure ditch as well as another small ditch found on Sunday. We hope excavation will be able to tell us more about the date and function of these features. At the end of Tuesday we were able to mark out the features with string in case more heavy rain obscures them.
Inside the wall we have cleaned around a rubble filled feature which Roger noticed while stripping the topsoil - this appears to be another ditch. Whilst cleaning above this feature we found two Roman potsherds but its possible that these have just been pushed into place by the plough.
Only three days into the excavation and the trench has revealed three ditches and a wall!"
HEATHER JACKSON - FINDS SUPERVISOR
"My first day on the site and I seem to have brought the rain!
After a short tour of the trenches I started work in a rather wet corner of Evan's area. I was excavating a rubble platform about 2m from the source of the spring, which may have been constructed to retain water in the spring area.
As the rain came down I was impressed by the dedication shown by a few of the students, who kept working despite the weather. At lunchtime Evan showed me round the finds shed, where most of my work will be done; but as there are few finds so far, I soon returned to the trenches."