This morning was choc ices. Thanks very much to John for bringing them and the cool bag that meant they survived in solid form until morning tea-break. After this hobbitish start to the day we had the energy for moving lots of soil.
By the end of the day in trench N we had cleared off most of the hillwash layer. This is the soil which has built up over the natural glacial clay subsoil over the past few thousand years, inconveniently hiding most of the prehistoric archaeology. Now it has nearly all gone you can see the feature which caused the magnetic anomaly in the geophysics and led us to dig this trench here. The natural glacial clay shows up paler on both sides of the excavation but you can clearly see the 4 metre wide swathe of darker soil between where Sammy and Chris are trowelling and George is mattocking. This darker material is full of worked stone and charcoal. Kayla and Connor are using the total station to record the position of today’s finds.
In trench P the darker material that we thought marked the position of upright posts in the ditch has been dug out. As you can see in this photo they are not as deep as we were expecting. Katie has just finished drawing a profile through both features and is handing the drawing to Mike, who seems to have escaped from the Sistine Chapel roof, so he can check it.
As always, once the recording is done, it is time to get the big tools out again.
Sometimes we do this even before the paperwork is all complete. Scott and Chloe have been looking for the edge of their Neolithic pit in trench M but as the clay subsoil dries out it becomes increasingly hard to make any impression on it with a trowel. If you are careful you can clean nearly as neatly with a 5lb mattock head and it hurts your wrist a lot less.
The other Neolithic pit in trench M is more clearly defined. Chelsea and John are taking more of the fill out and finding lots of worked stone and some quite big bits of charcoal.
We weren’t on site yesterday because it was graduation day at UCLan. Duncan, Jim and I had a very hot afternoon looking like the staff of Hogwarts in full academic dress. Massive congratulations to all this year’s graduates.