Now we are well into our final week on site we need to be on top of all the digging and recording that must be completed before we can start backfilling and re-turfing. We have an immovable deadline of the end of Friday because, very early on Saturday morning, Pete, the minibus and most of the tools are going south to Pembrokeshire to take part in Vicki Cummings and Colin Richards dig on the Garn Turne Dolmen. So far I feel that we are not too far behind: which, in my experience, is about all you can hope for at this stage of a dig. We are not the only ones working to deadlines. Just about every field in the valley has at least one tractor in it either cutting or rowing up grass as everyone tries to get the hay sorted in the three days of reasonable weather that have been promised this week. We watch all this self-interestedly, well aware that there won’t be a four-wheel-drive tractor free to help with our backfilling until the hay is in.
We had two very welcome site visits today from local archaeological groups. Sandra Silk from the Forest of Bowland AONB office in Dunsop Bridge brought a group in the morning and we had a visit from a combination of Northern Boggarts and Pendle Heritage in the afternoon. Thanks to both groups for their interest and for giving us the benefit of their expertise when looking at our finds.
On site D today Pete found the base of his section of the curvilinear feature. As you can see from the impressive pile of former packing stones on the plank behind his head there seem to have been at least two large posts in this part of the feature.
There was more confusion around the other end of this feature. The south edge here has never been particularly clear and there were similar problems with the northern edge of the linear feature Vanessa was digging. There were two possible answers. Either there is a variation in the natural subsoil here, which is making the edges harder to spot. Or there is a much larger and earlier feature that both our features are cut through. To try to sort this problem out we have removed a section of this deposit to look at the order in which these different things happened. So far this is still a work in progress.
On site C we have cleaned up the natural subsoil within the enclosure and Karl and Olaf are drawing a plan showing where the top of the cut for the enclosure ditch starts.
Within the ditch itself we have nearly all the sides and base of the original cut exposed. We are still finding quite a lot of prehistoric worked stone within the lower ditch fills.
Outside the ditch there is still a thin layer of the original bank surviving. Jas and Alex have cleaned this up, written a context record for it and once they have planned it we will dig the rest of this layer off tomorrow. This is the last part of the archaeology we need to dig in trench C.
Simon the calf is up and about on his feet and looking very well.