CAMPAIGN TRAIL: UPDATE 6 - 23/8/2000
THE NEWS IN BRIEF
The walls around the spring begin to take shape in Evan's trench. Meanwhile in Mark's, work starts on digging the ditches and exploring the prehistoric features in the trench.
"The team is now investigating a range of features around the spring. Evidence for a well chamber has been recognised - bonded with lime mortar - and behind this is a rubble backfill that would have levelled the ground around this chamber. There is some evidence for a pool beyond this chamber, and around its edge we are picking up areas of clay and smaller rubble that may represent a Viking-period pool edge!
In Mark's trench, the enclosure ditch is producing a fascinating array of features, some easier to define than others. The prehistoric evidence is important because it shows that activity also occurred to the east of the spring - in 1995 a large number of prehistoric features were recorded to the north of this area."
DR MARK REDKNAP
EVAN CHAPMAN - SUPERVISING THE SPRING TRENCH
"Two hot sunny days have been spent sorting out the walls from the rubble and discovering the extent of the cobbling in and around the spring depression. We now think that a thin wall ran round three sides of the spring head, to retain the surrounding ground. The northern arm of this has however been almost entirely destroyed.
In addition, we have removed large quantities of a peat-like deposit from the southern side of the trench - unfortunately, this appears to be fairly modern. Below it is a similar but darker layer that may conceal more cobbling.
At the end of Friday Mark Redknap decided to investigate the area immediately in front of the wall at the spring head. This revealed, as we expected, a sunken stone lined box, which would have acted as a sediment trap for the spring water entering the depression.
We still await the expansion of the trench!"
MARK LODWICK - SUPERVISING THE ENCLOSURE TRENCH
"Work has continued slowly over the last few days. Because of the demands of Evan's trench, we have been operating with a skeleton workforce, and the team has been kept busy excavating some of the features around the enclosure wall.
The small ditch outside the wall has now been chased through the trench to reveal its true plan, but unfortunately not its function, as yet. The enclosure ditch is also being excavated and is similar to my memories of the ditch on the other side of the enclosure last year, except without any burials - yet!
Inside the enclosure Brian has been working hard digging through a black soil, similar to the soil in Evan's trench which overlies the subsoil. Beneath this are many features that appear to have complex relations to one another. Lots of headaches ahead trying to untangle these!
An exciting development from my point of view has been the excavation of the feature that was beneath the prehistoric pottery found in the last update. This has turned out to be a pit filled with prehistoric finds including pottery, flints, burnt hazelnut shell and bone, along with a partially perforated pebble probably intended as a weight."
HEATHER JACKSON - FINDS SUPERVISOR
"Finds processing has now started in earnest, so I have been spending most of my time up at the farm, in the finds shed. All finds except metals have to be washed, but fortunately I have a couple of students to help me with that, whilst I am kept busy packaging, labelling and doing the paperwork. Finds from different contexts are always kept separate and are subdivided according to the material from which they are made. They are packaged first in labelled, perforated plastic bags, and then in boxes, sometimes padded with acid-free tissue. In addition, all metal finds (such as the brooch terminal) and other artefacts of interest (such as pottery) need to be drawn and measured - so I have plenty to do!"