Due to heavy rain forecast this week any excavation was cancelled. (As it turned out it wasn't too bad at all!)
Even so two brave souls Liz R and Terry went to the site where they weighed and counted 90% of the finds dug up from the ten test pits.(Thanks to Liz for her assistance.)
Northwag were donated five more chairs and a table, so thanks to TC for collecting and transporting them to the shed.
With no dig photographs being available this week pictures of the mysterious rocks from Test Pit 9 (all found in context 3) have been posted here instead.
This lump of conglomerate was found at the very top of HO19/09 context 3. It looks like a possible mixture of broken fragments of brick and tile.
This interesting lump, again from Test Pit 3, was found sitting on the bedrock. A local geologist thinks it is possibly Silurian, probably Aymerstrey or the Much Wenlock area and approx 419 to 425 Million years old. Note all the fossils!
Here you can see the third rock, again from context 3. It's a representative sample that was deliberately hammered off the bedrock found in the Test Pit's base and shown the local geologist. He think this is a typical example of Sidmouth Mudstone. Note the number of fossils.
The fourth rock this was found in Test Pit HO-09 just above the bedrock floor. This one mystified even the geologists!
They are considering re-excavating our testpit.
The Team in action
Test pit 11, context 04 reached bedrock at 45cm (in the sondage above) so the pit was closed once it was recorded as below.
The weather today was much better than forecast (thunderstorm and rain expected!). It was a bit humid though for the four of us who turned up. A bit of maintance work was then theorder of the day when Sam and Ian adjusted the hingeopening the gateinto the field, which now works a treat. (Thanks lads.)
Meanwhile Tina continued her metal detecting at the bonfire site before the grass gets its second cut, only finding old hinges and bits of chicken wire. Ian, Sam and Terry trimmed some of surrounding trees in case we had another branch falling incident!
After a coffeee break and a slice of cake we went to Test Pit11 and saw that, considering all the rain we've had recently, it was in quite good order (as seen below).
Test Pit 11, context 01
Test Pit 11, context 02
We first cleared a good-sized area around this Test Pit of grass and weeds etc. and Tina was able to metal detect it, finding several hand-made nails. Despite Ian and Terry only having the basic of tools, they then managed to excavate down to context 02 (above). Astonishingly within that10 cm of soil 6 trays of building material were found including stone, bricks, tiles and slate, one piece of glass and two sherds of pottery!
As it looked like being another hot day Terry erected the gazebo for a planning meeting for our Annual Open Day this year at Winnall Mill in July (see our diary of events).
After the meeting, and while the team (not all represented) were still gathered together, this photo was taken to wish our distinguished member Dr Murray Andrews a very Happy Birthday (that's what the sign says).
Test Pit 12 context 2 with its rabbit hole on the left.
Work was continued on Test Pit 12 by a group of the ladies (not sure what the men were doing!). The soil in this trench had already proved hard going last week, and it continued to be a combination of very compacted soil and a mat of tree roots of varying sizes. Even with the addition of some splashed water it made very little impact. Finally by the end of the day a slightly softer, damper level was reached along with some of the first real finds, but it was still a struggle to attain the targetted second level, 20cms of depth.