12/9/14 — Goodbye, geophys – hello, digging!

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The end of the first week heralds the final touches to our main site’s geophysical survey. Friday saw Lloyd with the Total station and magnetometer following the fieldwalkers down to the foot of the hill, to chase the features being revealed in previous surveys, and fieldwalking extending further along that lower part of the field.

Finds are frequent and new interesting artefacts are popping up every day – Elizabeth and Lloyd has been uncovering Samian and Nene Valley potsherds left and right, including some stunning decorated pieces, while the rest of us students are still learning the difference between terracotta tiles and chunks of red chalk! The soil is rife with white chalk, flint (some worked specimens), and vast numbers of oyster shells, as well as some evidence of more modern agricultural practices, like ploughs, horseshoes, and pieces of scythe. For a beginner archaeologist, being able to make finds on one’s first dig is both encouraging and educational!

An assortiment of incidential finds at our tea break.

An assortiment of incidential finds at our tea break.

Fortune favours the brave (or, at least, those hauling equipment up and down a hill), and we have been granted permission to dig a trench – not only a test pit – in the lower part of the field, in which we have been fieldwalking for the majority of the week and which has yielded a great range of finds. The start of this dig will also coincide with the next wave of student volunteers joining the project. We look forward to every day’s discoveries, as well as a nice change in pace!


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