Is over. Thomas was pasture topping all day Thursday so I took a final shot of our mutant thistle with the approaching tractor of doom in the background before it got sliced down.
The home-made aerial camera was back in action on Thursday morning too so that we could take some record photos of the excavated segments of the inner ditch. Phil and Katie have completely removed the primary fills of the bit on the left of the shot. They spent the rest of Thursday drawing the two sections and a plan.
This is also the part of the ditch where I found the two smallest crumbs of pottery known to man. These have now been very skillfully cleaned by Beth and I have had a chance to have a look at the kind of clay and inclusions. I am fairly confident that they are Early Neolithic, which would be a very good fit with our suggested date for the causewayed enclosure, especially since they come right from the base of the ditch. After that, I got optimistic and thought we had two more fragments, one from the big pit Kade, Chelsea and Debbie are digging and one from John’s feature – we will need to wash these new bits to see how convincing they really are.
Today was Chris’s last day on site for this year so a big thank you is due to him for all his volunteer hard work. Also for the big Booths bag full of doughnuts he brought up to share around.
Mike had the day off from his proper job with Oxford Archaeology and was up on site today. He also delivered the magnetometer back so Scott can do some more geophysical survey next week. He brought his daughter because, as you can tell from this photo of all ages digging the limestone pavement inside the ditch, today was the first day of the school holidays in Preston.
The pavement itself is looking extremely interesting. The depth of soil preserved in the grikes between the limestone suggests that it was exposed for a long time. We are finding masses and masses of worked stone in this area. I think that Alex’s idea that there was a working surface in this area is extremely likely. We are going to finish removing all the deposits and finds in this area and get the limestone pavement really clean before we dig the ditch segment we think is in the currently empty part of this trench next week.
Wildlife of the day was a grasshopper George caught on the edge of this trench during the morning (don’t worry, it was safely released into the wild again once he had shown it to the kids).