This week in Trench 1, we’ve focused our excavation on a fill of the linear ditch feature that runs east to west across the middle of the Trench 1 extension. This feature has been our main focus of excavation because it appears to be the latest feature within the trench. It cuts through various other contexts, including a substantial burning area on its northern side. The ditch itself is quite shallow in the areas we have currently excavated, although it does run into the eastern section of the trench. As a result, we may never know the full extent and depth of it. The deepest excavated part of the ditch is approximately 60cm. The shallowest part of the ditch is to the west. It’s approximately 35cm deep and appears to be the terminus of the ditch. We have so far excavated and recorded two sections through this ditch which accumulates to approximately 50% of the visible part of the ditch it has produced various finds including a decorated piece of bone, which may have been part of a bone comb. We are now in the process of excavating and sampling the rest of this feature, and should complete this process within the next few days.
The bottom of the eastern part of the ditch is has a clay surface in it as well as what appears to be some kind of stone surface. However it is impossible at this stage to suggest what this could be. The western part of the ditch bottoms again onto a clay surface, however there is no evidence of any stone surface within this part of the ditch. Further excavation over the coming seasons will shed more light on what the surfaces under this ditch maybe.
Our other areas of focus have been contexts 1283 and 1274, which were removed this week. Context 1283 is a hard compacted clay surface from which the hearth was cut. We started to remove this context on Thursday and are continuing with this through Friday and into the weekend.
Context 1274 was a dark greyish brown silty surface which lay to the north of a possible building surface that has a high concentration of burning associated with it. This burning area is partially cut by a pit feature as well as the ditch. In removing this context we have discovered further areas of severe burning, which again could be related to the possible floor surface of a building. This burning evidence, as well as the remains of a floor surface, could suggest that the building could of suffered a catastrophic fire, which resulted in the building being burnt down to be replaced by later building of which we found evidence of last season.