There, I knew I’d be able to sneak a world cup link in somehow. Today was the first day of actual digging this year and so far nothing too untoward has happened. Early on in the season is traditionally when I test my capacity for making sub-optimal decisions but so far, so good. We want more tarpaulins and the energizer on the electric fence (the bit that actually causes it to zap things) needs minor surgery but we have got two trenches open and mountains of soil moved.
In trench M we have replaced Friday’s Photoshop artist’s impression of an excavation with an actual hole in the ground. Even more importantly we are finding lots of worked stone. In this trench they are mostly flakes of chert and we are still in the topsoil layer but this is all very encouraging. If the gradiometer plot is right there should be at least one pit here and the presence of all this stone tool-making waste lets us hope that it is prehistoric.
Trench N is also well underway. Here we have even more finds and a greater variety of different things. Obviously the topsoil contains quite a bit of post-medieval pottery and formless iron objects (things that have dropped off tractors and/or horses over the years) but there are many more exciting things too. Each of the white squares on the soil surface in this picture is a finds bag containing a prehistoric find. They are temporarily pinned where they were found until Kayla and Connie can come along, measure their position and enter them onto the small finds record. Some of these are waste flakes from making prehistoric chert tools, like the ones in trench M, others are flint flakes. We also found three quite substantial pieces of burnt bone today in this trench.
These need to be cleaned. They may be bits of another disturbed cremation burial, like the on we found last year in trench H. However, the texture of at least one of them looks a bit coarse for human bone, so they may be charred food waste.
Wildlife of the day, back by popular demand (well, at least two people asked) is the teeny tiny toad that Chelsea and Katie found sheltering under a grab bag on trench M. They didn’t kiss it, apparently that’s only frogs…