Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Day 10: 12/08/09

At the henge site Anna writes:

Things are coming along quite well at the henge site. Several features are being excavated and everyone is getting a chance to do one. A few artefacts were found today on site. There was some burnt bone found in the ditch section. Dene found a piece which was jet black which he suspects could possibly have been part of a bracelet. Also some modern pieces of white pottery were found. The weather eventually delayed any more work. The rain made excavating more difficult to accomplish.

An STV crew came to the site today for some coverage of the recent developments and of the work that is being done. The footage centred on the cap stone that was recently removed to reveal the cist. An interview with Kenny Brophy was conducted on site. The footage will be shown tomorrow night at 6pm.


Meanwhile at the cemetery site Robert reports:

Today I got to go back to the cemetery site. The last time I was there we were removing the soil with the hoes. Today I got to trowel. In the morning I was given a section to trowel with the others. We found a piece of worked agate in area J before break. By the first break I was asked to write this blog so I went around taking some pictures: one shows the area that we dug and started after the break. The two most surprising finds that we found was a piece of worked Arran Pitchstone and a small copper alloy pin head (pictured) both in the same context and area. They were in fact very close to each other about a metre apart. These two pieces I found whilst troweling. We couldn’t find the rest of the pin head so we decided to bag the soil and to dry sieve tonight, which I volunteered to do. In the same area and context we found some roman pottery, some green-glazed medieval pottery; two pieces of medieval pottery; some medieval white gritty ware; some white gritty-glazed. The last thing we found was a hammerstone in some cleaning in area I. Those who weren’t troweling were drawing sections and plans. After lunch we bagged the soil but by about three o’clock we had to abandon the site due to terrible rain the site started to flood.


And from the promontory enclosure site Cathy spins a tale:

Since the momentous day when the promontory enclosure trench was de-turfed and the fibula found in the north end of the trench there have been several developments.

Despite early difficulties identifying distinct contexts, mainly due to a mixture of bright sunlight and similarities between deposits, the ditch of the hillfort has been identified; with an extent of 4m located within our trench. Pre–excavation, the ditch already has several distinct fills and will be excavated to determine the depth and stratigraphy. Next to our ditch the remains of a possible rampart are also starting to become clearer.

In the north of the trench there has been a more complicated situation with several linear features and possible stone settings. These have been recorded and fully excavated. Due to the small finds in these areas, including several sherds of pottery, these features have been identified as ridge and furrow.

Today the interpretation of these features as ridge and furrow has been further bolstered by the discovery of a curved metal blade, thought to be a farm tool. These features and the sickle point towards a region where ridge and furrow cultivation was practiced.

Picture the scene:
An expanse of golden barley; stretching into the distance, soft rays of the setting sun are cast over the hills to the west.

A weary farmer sits down at the side of the field, tired and thirsty after toiling under the hot sun since dawn, harvesting the year’s crop. Another few long days of work to finish the harvest, all the time hoping the weather doesn’t break and leave her family in danger of going hungry over the winter.

Enjoying the quiet moment before returning to the bustle of her home she sips water from her worn white jug, a relief for her throat, dry from all the dust rising in the fields.

Looking down at her sickle she sighed, it was blunted and worn out from the past six year of use. Dropping it to the ground she stood up and stretched, it was time to send her son to the market anyway, he could trade some of the crop for a new one.

Turning to leave she stumbled, crushing the jug beneath her foot, muttering under her breath she abandoned the useless fragments, she would have to make another, yet another job to fit in at the busiest time of the year….


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