Trench 3 Week 2: Excavation well underway in Trench 3!

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Eastern beam-slot being excavated

It has been an eventful week here in Trench 3. As soon as we finished cleaning the trench it was time to start excavating! We spent the week focusing on three different features; the eastern beam-slot of the timber building, a post-hole in the mid-north section of the trench and the stone paving slab feature.

The eastern beam-slot was located in previous years, however not fully excavated, and thus became one of our main tasks for the week. As it stands now the feature has been fully excavated and can be seen in relation to the rest of the timber building. A couple of interesting metal finds have come from the fill of the beam-slot, including an iron nail and fragments of lead. The south beam-slot appears to run through the southern (WW1 practice) latrine pit, however when excavating further to the west, we encountered intact stratigraphy, and a terminal to the slot, just beyond the edge of the pit. This, strongly suggests a doorway was present here. An interpretation that is supported by this feature being in the middle of the south wall. Additionally it seems that the pebble path feature, in the southeast corner of the trench, ran towards this newly discovered entrance.

Earlier in the week we discovered a post-hole located directly northeast of the paving stone feature. Throughout the course of the week we have fully excavated the post-hole. At ts base we found a piece of what appears to be middle-Saxon pottery, which makes us think we have reached the bottom of the feature (or maybe a bit past it!).

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Post hole being excavated

This week we removed four of the paving stones from a feature in the north of the trench in attempts to understand its purpose. The paving stones stand, broadly,in the centre of the timber building (described above). When the feature was first discovered in 2012, it was believed to be a drainage feature, however one would expect to find traces of an actual drain at either side. The current interpretation, as it stands, is that it may have served as some sort of a foundation for a post, but the truth is it remains enigmatic.

For week 3, once we have excavated the entirety of the timber building’s beam-slots, we aim to plan the extent of the structure and then lift the area of intermittent paving that run up to its eastern side.

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Stone paving slab feature mid-excavation

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