Trench 3 Update

 Along with the rest of the project,  Trench 3 spent the beginning of this week preparing for the arrival of Time Team. This preparation included the planning of the southern end of the trench following the discovery of a number of features there. The most interesting of these features was the presence of what appeared to be a slot cut  for a temporary timber structure’s foundations which were packed with stones. Following photographing and recording of these features, the alignments of these temporary buildings were discussed at length with the Time Team archaeologists, before having sections of the slots excavated and sampled. This excavation revealed that the clay through which the slots were thought to be cut  were in reality deposits which had accumulated against the inner walls of the structure, particularly in the corner. We are currently working through these accumulated deposits in an effort to discover the structure’s true floor surface.

 The central section of the trench has revealed a number of features, most prominently these are possibly two pits, potentially overlapping, as well as the continuation of the pebble filled corridor see in the south east corner of the trench. Extensive cleaning of this area failed to reveal any sign of the edges to these features which must exist due to the presence of upright stones which are clearly standing in a fill. Following photography of the area we have begun digging a sondage in order to uncover the edges of these features. 

 Due in part to the presence of Time Team, but also because of preservation concerns, the sondage was placed so that it would remove the carved stone which we have has been confirmed as deliberately worked by Professor Cramp. Having removed this stone with the assistance of Professor Aston, who is also convinced of the stone being carved, it is hoped that there may be some paint remaining in the recesses of the carvings. The stone has therefore been bagged and stored in a cool dark location in the windmill as advised. This is a very exciting find, adding an important example to a limited corpus of carved stones from an important site which is well known as a centre of secular power.

We have also planned much of the Hope-Taylor areas of the trench in the hope of finishing the recording of these areas soon prior to the end of the season.

This is the carved stone in-situ, just before lifting. You may be able to see the blue-grey colouring in the recesses of the carving that may be the remnants of paint.

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