In exactly a month this will be trenches N, M and P. Obviously, you really just have to take my word for it. I am aware that quite a lot of the pictures on this blog look as if they come from some very esoteric stock photo agency that specialises in images of rough grazing in the rain. My parents are on holiday here and, as summer has failed us just at the moment, we went for dinner at the Inn at Whitewell. Around about three o’ clock we had eaten ourselves to a standstill and there was a possibility of some gaps in the weather. I then decided that everyone would really love to go for a walk around the archaeology of New Laund.
It is fair to say that this was not universally popular, especially with the smaller and four-footed members of the party, who could see nothing amiss with hiding under the settle in the bar until it was tea time. Still, we stumbled up the hill to look at Temple Cave and the mist where this summer’s dig is going to be.
This photo was taken looking broadly west. On the left, just where the land starts to slope steeply downhill, we know from the geophysics results that there is a substantial boundary which used to be made up of two banks with a ditch in between them. One job will be to dig a section across these three features and establish whether they are, as we think, part of the medieval deer park. In front of this boundary, on the flat(ish) ground in the foreground are one enormous and two smaller pits. These could be any date at all, but they look quite a lot like the results we had from the timber circle, so I’m optimistically saying they will turn out to be prehistoric too. This will make up the other two trenches we are going to dig.
All we have to do now, and a month really ought to be enough time to do it, is get everything ready. There are two more university projects starting before ours. Dave is off to Wind Wolves preserve in California to dig caves out there at the end of next week and at the same time Duncan will start work on the Anglo-Saxon site at Oakington in Cambridgeshire where he has been digging for the last four years. This means that a lot of next week will be taken up with the three of us horse-trading and arm-wrestling over who gets what bits of the equipment.
Whatever happens, the electric fence is coming with us.