The news in brief
With time running out in the final season, the team is working flat out to process finds and complete the archaeological records. New discoveries are helping us to understand the oven building.
Today's activities have been quite varied - photography by Kevin Thomas, our Museum photographer, viewing the site from the top of a cherry picker; and finally sorting out the oven and how it worked. The great depth of the alternating layers of firing and relining within a depression would have been prone to flooding without drainage, and a stone lined drain with gully has been found running from beneath the oven to the south, through a wall and draining into low-lying midden deposits away from the area. Today we have prepared a new section for you: 'what the team thinks!' - see next update.
We have nearly finished, tomorrow is the last day of the last season! Yesterday and today have been spent ensuring we have all the sections, plans, photographs and records of all the archaeology we have unearthed. The recording has been broken up with a little further excavation. We fully exposed a ditch on the west end of the trench, first identified in 1997.
The burial, whom we now believe to be a female in her early twenties, has been fully recorded, carefully lifted and packaged.
Finally, thank you to the most capable, willing and happy team I've worked with in a long time.
The last couple of days have been spent trying to understand what is going on in the oven building, with a couple of postholes turning up near the southern side of the building, and another large posthole on the west side. We have excavated part of the drain to the south of the building, which directly overlies a ditch.
A few more potentially interesting areas were looked at, and a further phase of semicircular ditch, to the north of the oven, was found.
At the end of yesterday we called a halt to finds washing so that the bone will be dry, or nearly dry, by the time it has to be packed up to be taken back to the Museum. Today I have concentrated on bagging up and listing finds, while a series of volunteers have worked hard wet sieving as much of the spring material as possible. As time is running out the sieve residues will have to be taken back to the Museum for sorting.