In retrospect, I think we were lucky with the weather today, although it didn’t feel like it at the time. It clouded over very quickly in the middle of the morning and by dinnertime we were getting consistently drizzled on as we sat inside the clouds eating our sandwiches. Although it was the sort of day that gets you soaked in no time without you noticing it never really got wet enough to make the trenches unworkable and we were able to get a lot of stuff done. Since we got home there have been three torrential downpours, any one of which would have been enough to wash out the day had they happened during working hours.
All this moisture has also made things a bit easier to see on site (I won’t be so relaxed about the weather if it keeps on raining, obviously). We have been able to complete the cleaning of trench M. This should be the layer that the prehistoric features were cut into, we think we can see them now and Connie is just completing a plan of them before we start to dig them tomorrow.
We are also nearly ready to start planning again in trench N. Phil has completely excavated the small pit he was digging – finding more burnt bone in the process. Everyone else has been rapidly excavating the two linear slots so we can photograph and plan this area in the morning.
We did get as far as setting up to photograph the ditch fills in trench P this morning before I made the very popular decision that more mattocking was needed first. Shovelling in the mist, what could be finer. We still think this feature was probably prehistoric. If this is the case then it is possibly (hopefully) part of another enclosure. To try and find out where any continuation of this ditch might go we have been setting up to do a great deal more gradiometer survey on this part of the hill.
Josh and Jack have been using the total station to mark out the corners of the 30 x 30 metre grids for the survey.
Meanwhile Mike was using the gradiometer itself to check his assistants were suitably non-magnetic. One after another, James, Scott and Connor pass through the portal of magnetic cleanliness. No one has non-magnetic waterproofs. They managed six grids this afternoon but we have about 20 more laid out ready, so we are likely to be doing this survey for at least a week.
Wildlife of the day, swallows are nesting in the barn we use as a site hut. No sign of chicks yet but we’ll keep you posted.