Graham Dixon reports from our sister excavation at the Bradford Kaims
Another rainy day, another opportunity to write a blog entry. The third and fourth weeks have been full of mixed emotions as the heavy rains prevented work being done, before the scorching sun-dried everyone’s weary tears. Unfortunately, it also dried out a particularly stubborn layer of orange clay sittinig in our first extention of Trench 6.
Despite this, progress continued at a lively place. Roscoe’s line of interesting stones, found at the southern terminal of Trench 16, was cleared. The supposed intersection of this and a second line found further upon the trench was located and test pitted. This pit turned out to contain a larger line of stones identified as a field drain. These buried stones aid in moving the water downhill through the path of least resistance. Although not of prehistoric date, these suspected 17th/18th century features were an interesting lesson in spotting features through changes in the soil, as the fill on top appeared as a grey, clay linear.
Other interesting test pits contained root systems sitting amongst the peat, as well as a length of timber coming through the baulk of Trench 22. This will have a section taken from it for dendrochronological analysis. Despite the fact that this particular piece of timber may have been washed downstream while the lake system was still active, it should provide a mimimum date for the burnt clay layer sitting directly below it.
When the moisture of the clay allowed, i.e. when not sun-baked into concrete, our main extention, Trench 6a, continued to be taken down to the archaeological layer enjoyed by the rest of Trench 6. This was done using mattoocks and shovels, interspersed with some very strong trowel work.
Here we have brought up the majority of our finds this year so far. Among these was a very large tooth, probably horse, as well as a flint flake. Further down the hill into peat, another piece of tooth was found, too small to identify but likely that of a sheep or goat.
Apologies for the lateness of the update, and promises have been made already to write up our most recent findings post-haste.
Thanks for the update Graham and I will hold you to your promise!