Winter is a good time to catch up with things that we don't always find time to do during the digging season. As mentioned in the past, Finds Processing is one of those necessary activities. Besides, staying in the warm and dry when its raining stair-rods outside or a thick hoar frost covers the landscape well into the afternoon, it's often preferable!

The last two weeks in January were also spent doing some training, especially helpful to any of our new and/or inexperienced members. The  first week we looked at what paperwork needs to be done before a spade or trowel can even touch the site. This involves lots of things going on in the background, such as contacting the landowner and gaining their written permission to even survey the site, a WSM (Worcester Sites and Monuments) number needing to be obtained from WAAS and lots of desk based research and non-invasive investigations to establish if an actual excavation would achieve the best results. Only then can a project design be written, explaining the group's intentions and methods, and presented to the landowner for their approval. 

During the second week of training we looked at the necessity of keeping good records, useful for both those in charge and for the diggers. The object of this exercise was for each member to understand what documentation was required of them week by week to avoid muddles with things like trenches & contexts. Poor paper records can have a knock-on affect both during the dig and after, when all the information is gathered together for analysis and the final report can be written. Then there are the preparations for archiving.....

This week, the weather being fine, we donned our wellies and went to view an interesting site near Feckenham that recently caught the attention of one of our members. This activities involved walking around the site ( a field) to assess its potential using the information we already had to hand and including more kindly provided by the helpful landowner, as well as looking at the surrounding locality. Even if nothing more came of this, with different people spotting different features, it was an interesting exercise on how to view the landscape.




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