The news in brief
Two new trenches are opened over the enclosure entrance and the hot spot revealed by yesterday's geophysics. Meanwhile, the last of the cleaning is finished in the Spring trench, and the real digging begins.
The spring area is starting to reveal its secrets! We have been completing the excavation of the bottom silts in the northern half of the pool. Here lenses of sandy gravel and grey silt have been producing a large amount of animal bone, some showing butchery and retaining its original colour. One large horizontal stone may be a lintel over the spring source, which still flows freely from the excavation section.
The entrance and inner and outer ditches are now appearing in the trench that we placed to catch these features (see 'Entrance Trench' in the 'site' section of this web site). While in another of our new trenches (the 'Hot spot Trench'), a large pit appears to be 10th century (it has produced fragments of iron nail and a fragment of silver ingot ) though its function remains uncertain.
I managed to do some digging in the trench by the spring yesterday, as some impressive archaeology was beginning to emerge, including some possible areas of walling and flagging near the oven we discovered last year. Today Dave (the site surveyor) joined the team, so much of my time was taken up with the hand-over of surveying responsibilities.
Yesterday much of the remaining topsoil was removed from the Spring trench as quickly as possible. Today, after a day's hard rain the site was ideal for hoeing, so I started on the northwest corner, taking another inch or so off the surface to clarify some of the features we've been finding. In the afternoon, three of the volunteers ñ Vince, Francis and John, began excavating three of the more obvious and well-defined features.
The flow of finds is beginning to grow so processing them is now taking half my time. The rest of my time has been spent helping to open the Entrance Trench.