This week in Trench 1, we’ve been working on several contexts. The larger of these contexts, 1272, is a dark grey silty surface that is visible towards the southern half of the trench directly east of what is left of the medieval paving surface. It dates to c. 11th / 12th centuries AD. In taking down this context, we have uncovered a fired clay surface which appears to be a hearth. There have been various small finds from this area, including two pieces of samian ware pottery, a stone tool and a bone pin/tool possibly used for working with textiles. Trench Supervisor Neal Lythe believes that these finds – partiularly the samian ware, which is Roman in date – may be indicative of a pit feature in Trench 1 that we have yet to see clearly.
The surfaces to the north of the hearth are a little more complicated than first thought. In this area, we have uncovered what appears to be at least one pit, a small midden deposit of bone and shell and quite a large area of burning. Further excavation of the next few days will hopefully reveal more about the archaeology in this part of Trench 1.
The western half of Trench 1 was also cleaned at the start of the week. This area seems to be a lot earlier than the rest of the trench, as there is a lot less stratigraphy in this area. In addition, during the clean-up we found a styca which dates this area to approximately the 9th century, several centuries earlier than other contexts. We plan to return to this earlier area in the later stages of excavation.