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Return of the Vikings? 3rd September

Exploring features in the main trench
An excited team gather to view a human bone as it starts to emerge from the soil
First glimpse of a burial
A thigh bone, several hundred years old, buried in the soil. Other bones are starting to emerge to its left
The long thigh bone (right)

After two weeks of hard work by all the team to remove ploughsoil, and backfill from previous years’ excavation, the archaeological remains are finally being examined in detail. 

Today, one discovery brought the entire site to a halt, bringing everyone to gather around one of the smaller exploratory trenches opened last week.  Following clearing rubble from the upper fill of the enclosure ditch, the longbone of a burial was found on the western side of the enclosure ditch.  It is hoped that this exciting discovery will provide more information relating to a group of five skeletons previously found immediately to the south during the excavation seasons of 1998 and 1999. 

Weather conditions on site are currently excellent for the detection of archaeological features.  This is exemplified by the discovery of a several archaeological features within an area previously excavated in 1998 at the east end of the main trench.  Some of these features were previously known from the earlier season, but remained unexcavated because of a lack of time. 

Elsewhere in the main trench, the team has uncovered more of the enclosure wall defining the western boundary of the site, and have also begun the excavation of a slot through the enclosure ditch adjacent to that wall.  Exploratory slots placed through midden deposits at the east end of the trench are finding animal bones in large quantities, which will provide valuable dietary information about the inhabitants of the site. 

These tantalising glimpses into the archaeology of the site are getting everyone very excited, and we look forwards to seeing what new discoveries await us during the next two weeks.

Tudur Burke Davies

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