We don’t normally dig at the weekends but, as we had a site visit scheduled this morning, we decided to put in some extra hours. The visit was part of the Festival Bowland programme of events organised over the summer by the Bowland AONB team. This was the third time we have been involved in the festival and I think it was the best turnout yet. It was certainly the best weather.
We started off in the barn, where Nikki was washing and checking some of the finds from the past week, and looked at cores and flakes of chert to get an understanding of the way stone tools were made in prehistory. I walked the group around the sites we have been digging since 2011, trying to link together the landscape, archaeology and environment. We finished the morning up by trench H in the centre of the New Laund Enclosure, where everyone else had spent all morning cleaning up the surface protected over night by the tarpaulins. Among the finds from this morning was a lovely serrated flint blade, nicely illustrating the lecture about stone tools at the beginning of the walk.
Covering the site overnight seems to be working, certainly everything was a lot damper and the soil colours more visible this morning. We have taken to keeping most of the surface under wraps except for the bit we are actually working on. While we could actually see the edges of the features, Mike introduced the undergraduates to another professional archaeologist’s technique for dealing with precisely this problem. If you look closely at the photo, behind where Irene is trowelling, you will see little dots of surveyor’s line marking paint around the edges of the features. However dry it gets now, those features should stay safely located.
The ongoing struggle between the livestock and our fence is not going so well. Last night a sheep chewed through part of the lower strand on the fence. Where there’s no sense there’s no feeling, I suppose. We will re-rig the whole fence on Monday with the East Anglian elephant wire.
Wildlife of the day. I saw a lapwing while I was on the walk with the festival group but Irene wins the prize with the red squirrel she saw driving up to work this morning.