CAMPAIGN TRAIL: UPDATE 10 - 1/9/2000
THE NEWS IN BRIEF
The dig enters its final stages but discovery continues apace in Evan's trench. In Mark's trench the burial is revealed and work turns to tidying up the loose ends.
"We are now sure that the possible building identified north of the spring (see previous updates) is actually a fine, wide paved and lined path. This tells us much about the internal layout of the enclosure in the 9th/10th centuries. Well made, it is more substantial than most 'paths' found on contemporary sites, and provides us with a main axis to the enclosure, linking the buildings found in previous seasons with the spring.
Further confirmation of the early medieval date for the lower spring deposits came yesterday with the discovery of a fragment of metal stamped with a design similar to those found on Hiberno-Norse arm rings.
An oven has also been found in Evan's area - if this is a bread oven, it implies the existence of a bakery catering for a considerable number of inhabitants."
DR MARK REDKNAP
EVAN CHAPMAN - SUPERVISING THE SPRING TRENCH
"The building is no more, having become a flagged path with kerbstones. The hearth, in the extension on the west of the original trench, however, has turned out to be a rather fine oven, possibly for cooking bread.
In the north of the trench we've cut sections across some areas of cobbling and rubble and have found that they sit in depressions in the natural rather than mark the top of features as we had hoped - not so interesting but quicker to deal with.
Work also continues in the base of the spring depression. Now semi-underwater as the spring is constantly bubbling up."
MARK LODWICK - SUPERVISING THE ENCLOSURE TRENCH
"It's starting to feel like the beginning of the end. Before we can go home all the archaeology we have dug to date has to be recorded and much of the work over the last two days has been prioritising digging and cleaning in preparation for photography and drawing.
We have excavated as much as possible of the burial that has now been cleaned ready to be photographed and then planned by Dave before it is finally lifted. Unfortunately, the burial did not contain any grave goods after all.
The enclosure wall has now been planned which means we can excavate a section across it tomorrow and hopefully find a preserved ground surface which the wall was built on."
HEATHER JACKSON - FINDS SUPERVISOR
"The last couple of days have been truly hectic. I am trying to make sure that all the bulk finds are recorded, as well as racing through the flotation samples. The lower layers in the spring depression are now being dug, and these are producing a large number of samples for flotation. In addition, all the day to day drawing and recording of the metalwork etc. has to be kept up to date. Tonight, this meant staying at site till about 8pm, and Roger the farmer kindly invited me in for supper at the farm.
Dr Nancy Edwards, from the University of North Wales, Bangor, came to visit some of her students on the site today, and also expressed enthusiasm for the early medieval finds, particularly the brooch terminal."