Trench 3 Update

This week we’ve continued to investigate the extent of the intrusive medieval pit and have succeeded in uncovering several possible cuts and edges. As is common with such a complex site, this has posed more questions than it has answered! A number of contexts which were previously invisible in the northern end of the trench have been uncovered, greatly confusing the sequence.

Significantly, we’ve revealed what appears to be a primary fill in the south west quadrant of the pit. Following drawing and photographing of the section and plan views, 3234 (which has been shown to be the secondary fill) has begun to be excavated, uncovering a number of small finds, mostly of iron, as well as several pieces of green-glaze (13th-14th century) pottery – which confirms, along with the rubble fill, that we are still excavating the material deposited within the pit.

We have also begun to clarify the extent of a number of surrounding contexts (particularly 3239 in order to understand the burnt material which is beneath it), with the intent of planning, photographing and subsequently excavating these layers in the next few weeks.

2 thoughts on “Trench 3 Update

  1. Green glaze is not only a medieval type, the romans were using green glazed style pottery,maybe this is an earlier imported ware and maybe the reason u cant find an edge to 3234 is because there is no pit..the reason why ur confuseing the sequence is because ur chasing nothing – what should have been done was to carry on down as normal like the rest of the trench until something more firm was found thus keeping the sequence clear and intact.

    Or maybe the natural ground level of the 12th-14th slopes and you have come down too flat so the south end is now of an earlier date and the northern is of a later date – mistakes may have been made coz of the breaks in the winter and then changing of supervisors.

    • John,
      Thanks for your response and thoughts on the archaeology in Trench 3. While I understand your concern that we’ve been excavating a feature that isn’t there, we’ve recently uncovered and excavated the edge to said pit. While the colours are difficult to see, all of our experienced excavators have said that it is fairly obvious that there are differences in compaction and inclusions, suggesting strongly that there is a definite edge. Hopefully photos will appear here soon. As far as the green glaze goes we have had a significant corpus of medieval pottery and the sherds we have from this pit have been confirmed by pottery specialists as medieval. It does seem from the Roman material we have uncovered that this pit is deep enough that it has brought Roman material up from earlier deposits though, or it maybe that these Roman finds have been deposited in these later contexts.
      Our excavations of the trench as a whole has continued on a slope which broadly follows the depth of the bedrock and thus the depths of the stratigraphy. Generally in archaeological excavation we remove the most recent contexts first, and so the excavation of features which are cut through from higher layers are the priorities for excavation, not just digging down across the whole of the trench.
      I hope that makes some sense and explains our strategy,
      Cheers,
      john.

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